Sunday, July 3, 2011
Last Will And Testament Considerations
Interest in a Last Will and Testament and other end of life planning documents skyrocketed during the coverage of Terri Schiavo's case, but interest didn't always lead to action. It isn't that people laugh at the importance of preparing for the unexpected; they blame procrastination and laziness. DO YOU HAVE A LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT? Out of half a dozen randomly selected people interviewed, none had a Living Will, and only one had a Last Will and Testament, though every person said they believed the documents are essential. All said they believed that proper tax planning in Wills can save one's heirs certain estate taxes. ESTATE PLANNING STARTS WITH A LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT People believe in the importance of estate planning because of dependents and not wanting to be hooked up on a machine at the end of life. However while some call lawyers or buy a Last Will and Testament kit, not all people get around to signing them. Only one person interviewed had completed estate planning documents. With a power of attorney, which names a friend or relative to manage your finances if you become incompetent, you may also have a health care proxy. A health care proxy is the same thing as a power of attorney, except it applies to medical conditions instead of financial ones. People trying to figure out what you would want can lead to some big arguments and family quarrels. There should be no questions about what you wanted.