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  • Lynn K. Girvin, Esq.

Get Ready for Summer

This year is flying by! It’s already May and summer is right around the corner. In a few short weeks kids will be out of school and the beaches will be packed. Hopefully many of you are planning a great vacation or just a short getaway.

The prospect of traveling reminds us like nothing else of the importance of having your Will and other estate planning documents in order. So what are the most important elements of your plan to remember? Before you head out of town, take time to review and update the following items:

1. Will. A Will gives you sole discretion over the distribution of your assets. You are able to specify how your belongings should be distributed minimizing tension among your surviving family members and enabling a smooth transition of your assets. Your Will is also the best place to name a guardian if you have minor children. If you do not have a Will the state will make these decisions for you.

2. Health Care Directive. Give your family peace of mind by providing a Health Care Directive stating your wishes should you become unable to do so yourself. Among other things, you are able to specify what extent you want life sustaining support and whether you wish to donate organs.

3. Power of Attorney. In your Power of Attorney you can give a named person the limited ability to act on your behalf under certain circumstances. This person is called an Attorney-in-Fact, or Agent. The person you name has only the specific power you provide to control assets not held in your trust. Your Agent has the ability to maintain continuity of your estate should you become unable to do so.

4. Possibly a Trust depending on your particular circumstances. A Revocable Living Trust ensures that your loved ones are able to avoid probating your estate. You are able to leave specific instructions as to how your estate should be managed at your death. It is an essential part of most comprehensive plans.

Your plan should be reviewed every few years because laws change and it is good to make sure things are set up how you wish. Family dynamics change, kids get older and more capable of possibly managing your estate should you become unable to do so, or maybe a family member is no longer your first choice to be named guardian of your children. Either way, it’s good to review your choices and make those small changes.

If you have any questions about your estate plan or need to get started, please email or call me today! (949) 387-8707.

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