Who Should You Choose As Your Power of Attorney?

On behalf of The Law Office of Wickersham and Bowers posted in Estate Planning on Monday August 31, 2020

Appointing a power of attorney can be an uncomfortable and terrifying prospect. Choosing the wrong person or people can throw the incapacitated parties, their families, and their estate into disarray. However, the alternate – leaving everything to chance after the incapacitated party’s death – could cause even more problems.

There are multiple factors to consider when deciding on whom to grant powers of attorney.

Types of Power of Attorney

There are two types of power of attorney:

  • Durable Power of Attorney: A durable power of attorney has control over the signer’s financial, legal, and business holdings from the moment that the signer finalizes the documents to the moment that the signer revokes the power.
  • Contingent Power of Attorney: A contingent power of attorney has control over the signer’s financial, legal, and business holdings from the moment that the signer is incapacitated to the moment that the signer is no longer incapacitated.

Note that both types of power of attorney are revoked if/when the signer dies.

Traits to Seek in a Power of Attorney

Selecting the right power of attorney is more complicated than picking the nearest friend or relative. The power of attorney will have to perform multiple duties under stressful circumstances. Powers of attorney should have the following qualities:

  • The power of attorney should get along cordially and respectfully with the signer’s family. Conflicts with the signer’s family can lead to litigation, which would reduce the value of the signer’s states and therefore reduce the chances of the signer’s wishes being met.
  • The power of attorney should be free of external influences that would override the signer’s wishes with their own. A strong-willed spouse, family member, or friend might successfully manipulate the power of attorney to gain the signer’s funds.
  • The power of attorney should advocate for the signer’s wishes without being unyielding. Compromises may be necessary to make peace with the signer’s family, but the signer’s wishes should be the top priority.
  • The power of attorney should not hesitate to put the signer’s best interest above their own. Designating someone as power of attorney grants tremendous influence over the signer’s estate. An unscrupulous power of attorney could take some or all of the signer’s estate. 
  • The power of attorney should not inherit from the signer’s estate upon death. This would create a conflict of interest where the power of attorney has little personal motivation to honor the signer’s wishes.

Let Us Help You Appoint the Right Power of Attorney

Our firm can help you manage your estate and ensure that your requirements are met. Call our offices, and we’ll schedule a consultation with you.

Should Kids Be Involved in Estate Planning for an Elderly Parent?

On behalf of The Law Office of Wickersham and Bowers posted in Estate Planning on Thursday, July 16th, 2020

Estate planning is often an uncomfortable topic for many people. Some think that planning their estates means that they are a step closer to the grave. Although it might be an uncomfortable to do, planning your estate can be instrumental in avoiding chaos after you have passed away. 

For the elderly, planning your estate should be a priority. That’s basically so that should anything happen to you; you’ll know that everything is in order. In cases where the parent is quite senior, having the children involved in the estate planning process and this is why:

Someone You Can Trust

People of advanced age are often taken advantage of by unscrupulous people in our society. As a parent gets older, their bodies or mental faculties might start to fail them. To ensure that all your day-to-day finances are taken care of, you will need to appoint a power of attorney. That power of attorney can be given to your child and as such they should be involved in the estate planning. 

In Cases Where There Is a Minor

In cases where the parent is elderly and they have children under the age of 18, a personal guardian should be appointed. To ensure that everything transitions as planned, it’s good to involve the child when making this decision. If something happens to you and the child is left without a parent, leaving that child to someone they know and trust will work out a lot better. As such you might want to speak to the kids about whom they feel most comfortable with. 

In Matters of Finance

When planning your estate, financial matters take up a huge chunk of the planning. Although it’s not a must to keep your children in the loop when it comes to financial matters, it’s always good practice to keep people in the loop concerning the state of things. If your children are adults, you can speak to them about the state of the finances and also let them know what you expect upon your departure. This is usually beneficial to the kids so that they can know what to expect upon your passing. 

All through this period of time, you should always have a trusted lawyer by your side. At Wickersham & Bowers, we ensure that all matters regarding your estate planning are handled professionally and diligently so that everything stays in order. 

Life Is Unpredictable

On behalf of The Law Office of Wickersham and Bowers posted in Estate Planning on Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

Estate Planning and Will and Trust

The loss of someone we love is a tragic event. When this tragedy occurs in your family, you will require different things than others for your family. At Wickersham & Bowers, we provide you with a range of estate planning services that meet your and your family’s individual needs. We offer over sixty years of expert experience that will help you understand wills, trusts, and probate, and litigation.  

Planning Protects Your Assets

A key component is the ability to preserve the assets that you have sent your lifetime working toward, and you want to be able to determine what is going to happen to them when your life ends. Having an estate plan lets you have the power over your assets even beyond your experience and life. With our team of experts, we can guide you through this process with compassion and understanding as we listen to your wishes in a testamentary document that is enforceable. If it is a family member’s estate, we help you through the complicated process quietly but efficiently understanding well that this is a difficult time, and you need to mourn and heal. 

When developing a will or trust, you will see that we help you evaluate your options and find a plan that will please you and honor your wishes and be in the best interest of your family. For those wishing to protect their finances and the assets that they have accumulated, a trust may be the best option to utilize. A trust will help manage both during your life and help it to transition smoothly in the event of your passing on. Wills, however, are well known for being the most common estate plan as it will designate how your assets and finances are being distributed among your loved ones and family. A will helps families avoid court procedures and disputes. 

Let Us Help You Plan for Your Family’s Protection

Having an attorney guide you is beneficial to you and your family as Wickersham & Bowers put your family’s interests first. To schedule a consultation, call our offices, and we can speak at your earliest convenience to create a plan that works for you. 

How to protect your family when life is uncertain.

On behalf of The Law Office of Wickersham and Bowers posted in Estate Planning on Thursday, April 30th, 2020.

Of all the legal services that are necessary for a person to engage in over the course of their life, wills and estate planning is the one that seems to be the most neglected. It is understandable when you really stop to think about it. No one wants to face their own mortality and casually make plans and fill out documents for the inevitable coming of the end of life.

But putting off this aspect of personal and professional legal instructions has never been a particularly prudent action. And with the Coronavirus spreading and creating a global pandemic, the assurance of tomorrow or next year has never been less certain. 

This makes it even more urgent to enlist the services of an experienced estate planning firm such as Wickersham and Bowers to make sure that your end of life affairs are in order, while of course hoping that time is still far away.

Careful Planning During an Unpredictable Time

There is an old saying that goes “plan for the worst, hope for the best”. There is probably no better situation to apply that to than the one we currently all find ourselves facing. It is now more critical than ever to make sure that you and your families’ wishes are met should the unthinkable suddenly happen.

Ensuring Your Families’ Security

Take a moment and imagine the stress that so many families are going through right now with sick or dying loved ones. Many of them aren’t even able to visit their family or friends in the hospital or attend their funerals. 

Knowing how much of a soul-wrenching burden that must already be, imagine if they also had to deal with a situation in which none of their deceased loved ones final wishes and instructions were legally documented. No one wants to put their family through that.

Waiting Is Never an Option

A will and estate planning is something that should never be ignored, even in normal times. But with the Covid-19 crisis introducing a new and dangerous element into our daily lives, the possibility of even a young, healthy person falling ill and dying within a matter of days is possible. 

The legal experts at Wickersham and Bowers have been handling these types of matters for years and they will be glad to do the same for you. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Contact us today for a consultation.

Estate Planning 101

On behalf of The Law Office of Wickersham and Bowers posted in Family Law on Thursday, April 15th, 2020.

Of all of the various types of law that people often overlook or put off until it is too late, estate planning is right there at the top of the list. There may be a number of different reasons for this, such as many times a person feels like they are in good health and have many years left to worry about it.

Other times it may simply be that they feel that they don’t have a portfolio or assets that really require legal clarification and distribution. But many times the experienced estate attorneys at Wickersham and Bowers find that it is just a case of the client being anxious and nervous about facing their own mortality on the black and white pages of end-of-life legal documents.

The Importance of Estates and Wills

Estate planning isn’t just something meant for old, sick people with lots of money and assets. In this world that we live in very few things are certain. Young, healthy people who eat well and exercise regularly come down with serious, unexpected illnesses out of nowhere. Accidents can happen at any given time on any given day. If something unexpected were to happen to you, think about where it might leave your family and loved ones.

The Peace of Mind of Knowing Your Wishes are Carried Out

Having the knowledge that your final wishes for your spouse, children, employees, or anyone else that depends on you and what you provide for them is something that simply cannot be overstated. Although you will not be here to see it, imagine how you would feel knowing that there were legal battles and court litigation going on after your death to determine the course of action for your estate.

Security for Your Loved Ones

We know that no one ever has the intention of leaving those they care about to deal with a messy legal situation during a time when they should be mourning and celebrating your life. There is no greater gift and ease of burden that you could leave those folks than letting someone like Wickersham and Bowers take care of the details of your estate.

Contact us today for a consultation.