Happy New Year!
Forty-one percent of Americans made New Year's resolutions last year, according to Statistic Brain Research Institute, but more than 42% failed to keep them. Here's one resolution you can keep - getting your legal affairs in order - and the attorneys at Vinsko & Associates are able to help you keep it.
Here are five things you can do this month to get your legal affairs in order:
1. WRITE YOUR WILL! If you don't have a legally enforceable, written document, the state will decide the division of your money and your property. You can avoid issues for your loved ones by planning now, saving your family time and heart-ache after your death. Failing to establish a Will can push your estate into intestate succession, meaning the courts will decide what family members will get and how much. If you already have a Will, meet with us to review it to make sure it reflects your current wishes.
2. Establish a POWER OF ATTORNEY. Power of Attorney is a legal document containing an authorization for one to act as one's Agent that terminates upon revocation by the Principal or death of the Principal or Agent. Powers of Attorney can be for financial issues, health care issues or both.
3. Write an Advanced Healthcare Directive, also known as a Living Will. This is a legal document which outlines your health care wishes should you not be fit to make them known yourself.
4. Make a list of your on-line accounts, IDs and passwords, so that your loved ones have access to them or know where to find them. Keep this in a secure location and/or provide the information to your attorney or future executor for safe keeping.
5. Organize your important papers. Put everything - mortgage deeds, wills, car title, passports, and the like - in one place and make sure your loved ones know where they are. The executor of your estate should know where the original copy of your Will is, or we can keep it safe for you.
While these tasks shouldn't be too complicated, an experienced estate planning attorney like William Vinsko, Brian Vinsko or Catherine Mihalick, can help you be sure to accomplish your resolution to get your legal affairs in order for 2018.