ESTATE PLANNING

At Bort Law, we realize that every individual has different estate planning needs and objectives. So we first take the time to learn what matters most to our clients. We understand how to balance practical and appropriate application of law with the sensitive nature of our clients’ needs.

We realize and appreciate that a person’s estate is the financial accumulation of a lifetime of work and, regardless of its size, is worth protecting. We have the experience and insight to help you plan for the future that will meet your goals and give you peace of mind that the needs of your loved ones will be met and your legacy preserved.

Below are only some of the documents that we may recommend that you consider.

WILL

A Will is an important document to execute in order to avoid disputes about how your assets will be divided when you die. The executor who administers the distribution of assets from your estate will allocate your possessions as you specified. In your will you will:

  • Appoint the executor of your estate
  • Name the guardian of a minor child
  • Make specific bequests of your personal property, real estate and business
  • Direct who will receive your property
  • Allow for the creation of trusts for beneficiaries

You should periodically review your Will to make sure it is still relevant and accurate. Life changing events, such as the birth of a child or a marriage, may require amendments to the original document.

FINANCIAL POWER OF ATTORNEY

A Financial General Power of Attorney names an agent to make all financial decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. The use of a General Power of Attorney avoids the need for a costly guardianship proceeding in the event that you become incapacitated.

HEALTH CARE POWER OF ATTORNEY/LIVING WILL

The living will is a legal document that communicates your desire in the treatment of serious medical problems in the event that you are unable to speak for yourself. It does not go into effect unless you are incapacitated and unable to express yourself. Having a living will can relieve your close relatives from the burden of having to make difficult decisions.

REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST

Probate can be avoided by implementing a revocable living trust. A revocable trust works like a Will in that it includes the plan for the distribution of assets upon your death. In addition, during your lifetime, if you become incapacitated, your successor trustee can immediately step in to manage the assets in the trust for your benefit.

IRREVOCABLE TRUST

If your estate may be subject to federal estate tax or if you want to protect assets after entering a nursing home, you might consider implementing an irrevocable trust. You must carefully consider what assets fund the trust and how the loss of control over those assets will impact your life.

AFFIDAVIT AS TO DESIGNATION OF AGENT FOR BODY DISPOSITION

You may specify an Agent who shall have the sole right to determine the disposition of your body at your death, including by burial, cremation, anatomical donation or any other legal form of disposition. You may also specify instructions for your agent to follow regarding this process.

HIPAA AUTHORIZATION

Congress passed a law entitled the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) and there are federal regulations that interpret and implement that law. HIPAA limits disclosure of your health care records to certain family and friends, regardless of your state of health. You can sign this authorization to allow your Health Care Providers to disclose your health care information to the persons listed in this document, and openly discuss the information with them.