by Heather Tessmer
New Year, New You: Getting Your Future in Order
Picture this: it’s January, you rang in the New Year surrounded by your loved ones, and you have made a list of your New Year Resolutions—lose 10 pounds, save more money, take a trip, maybe even change careers. These are long term goals that you know you’re going to work hard to achieve. We at Tessmer Law Firm want to make sure that you’re set; not just for the short term, but for the rest of your life. We’d like to share our top 3 ways to plan for your future.
Have a Will
You need a will to keep the court from deciding who will have guardianship of your minor children. You have the power through your Will to decide who you think will provide for and give your children the best care. Without a Will, a judge may appoint someone you would have considered totally unsuitable.
A Will also guarantees that your assets will be distributed to family, friends, and charities as you would have wanted them to be divided. Personal items will be given out as you would have wished and charities that you supported in life can continue to be supported after you are gone. Having a will can give you power over how your estate will be divided and will keep the government from getting your assets if there are no relatives.
Create a Living Will
Living wills are written instructions of your preferred method of care in certain medical situations. This document will allow you to express if you want to receive life-sustaining treatment in the event you are critically injured or terminally ill and are left unable to make your own health care decisions. According to the American Bar Association, “life-sustaining treatment” means the use of available medical machinery and techniques, such as heart-lung machines, ventilators, and other medical equipment and techniques that may sustain and possibly extend your life, but which may not by themselves cure your condition.” A living will is not just something that older adults need to take care of – unexpected end-of-life circumstances can occur at any age. It is important to be prepared for not only yourself but for the sake of your loved ones.
Appoint a Power of Attorney
A power of attorney gives someone the power to act on your behalf as your agent. The power might be limited to certain activities or general in application. Your power of attorney can be given temporary or permanent power to act on your behalf. It could also take effect immediately or upon incapacitation. Having a power of attorney is vital. If you do not have a power of attorney, the court might appoint one or more people to act for you.
Planning for the future can be difficult and you should consult your attorney, financial advisor, and health care professional before making important decisions that will affect yourself and your loved ones. If you would like to learn more about estate planning, please feel free to schedule a consultation with us at 210-368-9708 or Info@TessmerLawFirm.com.