Everyone needs an estate plan. An estate plan allows you to control what happens when you die or if you can no longer speak for yourself. Estate plans can be simple or complex. A basic estate plan includes the following documents:
- Last Will and Testament (often called a Will)
- Financial Power of Attorney
- Health Care Power of Attorney
- Advanced Directive for a Natural Death (often called a Living Will)
From simple wills to complex trusts, Gilliam Law Firm will help you formulate a plan to protect your assets, minimize tax consequences, and avoid unnecessary probate proceedings. When meeting to understand your short-term and long-term objectives, Duane Gilliam will take the time to explain all of your options.
Last Will and Testament
The purpose of a Last Will and Testament is to communicate your final wishes. Who will get your property when you pass? Who will be the guardian in case you leave behind any minor children? Do you have special requests with respect to your funeral arrangements and final resting place?
Financial Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives another person the power to act in your place. An ordinary (nondurable) Power of Attorney automatically ends if you lose mental capacity. A Durable Power of Attorney will stay in effect if you become incapacitated. If you do not have a Durable Power of Attorney and you lose mental capacity, your family may have to go to court to be legally permitted to handle important matters for you, such as paying your bills, depositing your income, filing your tax returns and making insurance claims.
Health Care Power of Attorney
The Health Care Power of Attorney is a legal document in which you designate another person to make health care decisions for you when you cannot make the decisions yourself or cannot communicate your decisions to others. When meeting to understand your wishes, Duane Gilliam will discuss your options for special provisions and limitations concerning mental health treatment, life-prolonging measures, organ donation, and guardianship.
North Carolina recognizes a person’s right to a peaceful and natural death and a person’s right to make decisions relating to his/her own medical care, including the decision to have life-prolonging measures withheld or withdrawn in certain situations.
When meeting regarding estate planning, Duane Gilliam will counsel you regarding your desire to state your wishes regarding life-prolonging measures in a properly drafted Living Will.
Call Gilliam Law Firm PLLC at (910) 485-8899 for a consultation to review your estate plan. Preparation can save untold stress and expense later.