Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Advance Health Care Directive?

An Advance Health Care Directive informs your family and health care providers, the circumstances under which you would like to cease artificial life support. This document often works together with your Health Care Power of Attorney. If it is unclear whether the criteria of your Advance Health Care Directive has been met, your agent (as named in your Health Care Power of Attorney) would make this decision on your behalf.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should I choose as my Health Care Attorney-in-Fact?

Your Health Care Attorney-in-Fact has great responsibility, as the individual responsible for your medical decisions (if you are incapacitated). It is important to choose someone who understands your health care preferences. Communicating your wishes to your Health Care Attorney-in-Fact is of tremendous importance. In terms of criteria for the person you choose for this role--trust, responsibility, geography, and age are all factors you should consider. Likewise, having a few back-ups is generally a good idea.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a "Health Care Attorney-in-Fact" do?

A health care attorney-in-fact, is the person you appoint to make health care decisions on your behalf, should you become incapacitated. Furthermore, if you are incapacitated and your Advance Health Care Directive does not clearly address your situation--medical professionals will defer to your health care attorney-in-fact to make decisions regarding end-of-life care.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Health Care Power of Attorney?

A Health Care Power of Attorney is a legal document which assigns an individual to act as your proxy, should you be unable to make your own medical decisions. Additionally, it is wise to include a list of "back-up" agents in case your primary agent is unavailable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I give my back up Attorney-in-Fact different power than my primary?

Power of Attorney documents allow for a great deal of personal preference and customization. Clients may be comfortable giving their spouse (or other primary Attorney-in-Fact) a certain level of power that they would not want to give to a back-up. It is always wise to list a back-up/successor, in case your primary Attorney-in-Fact is unable--however the powers you grant them do not need to be the same.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Springing Power of Attorney?

A "springing" power of attorney grants your appointed agent the authority to act on your behalf--ONLY if/when you are deemed mentally incapacitated. So to speak, the power "springs" into effect upon your incapacity. However, one consideration is that typically a doctor or judge will need to determine that you are unable to manage your own affairs. Depending on your circumstances and preferences, this additional requirement could be seen as a safeguard or excessive "red tape" for your agent.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Durable Power of Attorney?

A "durable" power of attorney remains effective regardless of the principal's mental capacity. By contrast, if a power of attorney did not contain a provision making it "durable"--any legal authority granted in the POA would cease upon the principal's mental incapacity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should I choose as my Attorney-in-Fact?

An Attorney-in-Fact is the individual you appoint as your agent in a Power of Attorney document. You give this individual a great deal of responsibility and authority. Accordingly, you should carefully consider certain criteria when making this selection.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does an Attorney-in-Fact do?

An Attorney-in-Fact is the individual appointed as one's agent in a Power of Attorney document (either general/financial or for health care decisions). The powers given to one's Attorney-in-Fact can be highly customized.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a General Power of Attorney?

A General Power of Attorney (sometimes referred to as a Financial Power of Attorney) allows you to appoint a proxy to act on your behalf, under specified circumstances. The powers and timing associated with your General Power of Attorney are highly customizable.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I update my estate plan?

Both time and life events can necessitate reevaluating your estate plan. This overview provides some general guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should I appoint as my Successor Trustee?

Dave Schleiffarth discusses important criteria to consider when selecting your successor trustee for a revocable living trust.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I leave gifts in my Will?

Dave Schleiffarth discusses the details of leaving gifts for beneficiaries in one's Last Will and Testament.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I name a guardian for my children in my Will?

Attorney Dave Schleiffarth discusses guardianship nomination in estate planning.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should I nominate as my Personal Representative?

A key decision in one's Last Will and Testament is the selection of a Personal Representative. Here is some important criteria to consider.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Personal Representative?

A Personal Representative (called an executor in some states) oversees your estate and carries out the instructions of your Last Will and Testament.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of issues are addressed in a Will?

A Will names your personal representative, nominates guardians for minor children, and determines where or to whom your property & assets are to be distributed.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I have a Trust do I still need a Will?

A Will is still an essential part of an estate plan even if you have a Trust. If you have a Trust, your Will is called a "Pour-over" Will. A Pour-over Will is structured a little differently from a traditional simple Will and works in complementary fashion with your Trust.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do Trust instructions look like?

Flexibility and control are part of what makes a Revocable Living Trust such an effective estate planning tool. This video provides an overview of the wide ranging options available when having a Trust prepared.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Trusts only for the wealthy?

One of the most common misconceptions about Trusts is that they primarily benefit the wealthy. This could not be further from the truth. Trusts have substantial benefits for individuals and families at most all income levels.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of a Revocable Living Trust?

Compared to other planning instruments, such as a simple will, a Revocable Living Trust frequently offers many unique advantages.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Trust?

Dave Schleiffarth provides a brief summary of Trusts and how they function in estate planning.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I avoid Probate?

Dave Schleiffarth outlines estate planning methods for avoiding Probate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a Will protect my property from Probate?

Dave Schleiffarth addresses the common misconception that a Will can protect your property and assets from the Probate process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I want to avoid Probate?

The negative consequences of probate and the importance of building an estate plan to avoid it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I die without a Will?

An explanation of Missouri intestate succession laws.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Probate?

A discussion of the Probate process in Missouri.

Estate Planning Essentials

Do I Need a Will or a Trust?

Attorney David Schleiffarth examines the features of these two powerful estate planning instruments.

Estate Planning Essentials

What Is a Power of Attorney?

Attorney David Schleiffarth explains the purpose and importance of having a General Power of Attorney as part of an estate plan.

Estate Planning Essentials

What Health Care Documents Do I Need?

What is a Health Care Power of Attorney? What is an Advance Health Care Directive? Attorney David Schleiffarth discusses these critical health care documents and how they work together as part of an effective estate plan. 

Quick Topics

Wills

A brief, visualized overview of a Last Will and Testament (under Missouri law).

Quick Topics

Trusts Pt. 1

A brief, visualized overview of Trusts (under Missouri law).

Quick Topics

Trusts Pt. 2

A brief, visualized overview of Revocable Living Trusts (under Missouri law).

Quick Topics

Financial Power of Attorney

A brief, visualized overview of Financial Power of Attorney (under Missouri law).

Quick Topics

Health Care Power of Attorney

A brief, visualized overview of Health Care Power of Attorney (under Missouri law).

Quick Topics

Advance Health Care Directive

A brief, visualized overview of Advance Health Care Directives (under Missouri law).

Quick Topics

Beneficiary Deeds

A brief, visualized overview of Beneficiary Deeds (under Missouri law).

Quick Topics

Special Needs Trusts

A brief, visualized overview of Special Needs Trusts (under Missouri law).

Quick Topics

What is Estate Planning?

A brief, visualized overview of Estate Planning and the benefits it offers.

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