Hello from Sycamore,
Each year as we have our annual meetings with you, we revisit the question(s) do you have a last will and testament (will), living will, healthcare power (HCP), and/or power of attorney (POA) documents. Having these documents in place not only gives you peace of mind knowing that your future wishes will be carried out, but they can also help a worried family during difficult times.
Last Will and Testament
Your last will and testament provide instruction on how your assets will be distributed upon your death. You may assume that upon dying, your possessions that are part of your estate (i.e. non-beneficiary assets, possessions, etc.) would transfer to your spouse or next of kin if not married, but this may not be the case. Without a will, your estate may be distributed based on the laws of your state of residency when you pass. For example, in Indiana, if married with children, your spouse inherits half of your estate and your children split the second half.
A living will provide instruction on life-sustaining/medical care for you should you become incapacitated or unable to answer questions regarding your medical care. You may understand what treatments you would prefer (i.e. do not resuscitate, donate organs, etc.), and having a living will in place serves as a directive to help those you love to understand your wishes.
Health Care Power & Power of Attorney (HCP & POA)
It is important to have a trusted individual who can legally make decisions on your behalf if you are unable. An HCP gives an individual the ability to make health care decisions on your behalf. A springing POA becomes effective if you become incapacitated. These documents typically become effective after it has been deemed that you require some help in making health decisions.
As opposed to a springing power of attorney you may consider implementing a durable POA, this becomes effective once you sign the document and continues to be in effect if you are incapacitated.
As always, we would love to hear from you! Please reach out with any comments or concerns you may have.
Thank you for your business and trust,
Sycamore Financial Group
***The information contained in this article does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Instead, all information and content in this article are for general informational purposes only. Neither Sycamore Financial Group, nor any of its employees have a legal background, are trained in the law, or practice law. Please consult an attorney before making any decisions based upon the material presented in this commentary. Only your attorney can provide assurances that the information contained herein – and your interpretation of it – is applicable or appropriate to your situation.***