If you are beginning to plan for the future, it is in your best interest to seek the advice and experience of an estate planning attorney. Our attorneys handle revocable and irrevocable trusts, wills, powers of attorney, health care proxies, probate, and Medicaid issues for clients throughout all of Upstate New York.
We are ready to answer your questions and concerns regarding a Will, a Power of Attorney, or a Health Care Proxy.
A Last Will and Testament is a document expressing your wishes as to how you want your estate distributed at the time of your death. A Will only applies to those assets which are solely in your own name at the time of your death and only to those assets which do not already have a designated beneficiary.
Probate is a judicial proceeding to determine the validity of your Will and to carry out the terms of your Will. The need for judicial involvement can cause delay and unnecessary expense. Also, during this process, your creditors are afforded an opportunity to file claims against your estate.
A Will does not protect your assets. A Will can only leave what you own on your death. If your life savings has been depleted by a catastrophic illness, then your Will would become a well intentioned but meaningless document.
A Power of Attorney is an important legal document where you give a person the legal authority to handle your finances and make other business decisions on your behalf. If you become incapacitated in the future and have not signed a Power of Attorney, then a Guardianship proceeding might become necessary.
The Statutory Power of Attorney has the basic powers. The Koldin Law Center has prepared an Enhanced Power of Attorney which provides additional powers that we feel are important if a catastrophic illness occurs.
A Power of Attorney cannot be used to make health care decisions. A separate document called a Health Care Proxy is available for New York residents.
A Health Care Proxy designates someone to make medical decisions in your behalf in the event you become incapacitated. If properly drafted, the Proxy should include the authority to carry out your wishes regarding the removal of life support machines, feeding tubes and hydration. The Health Care Proxy also has an organ donation section. The Koldin Law Center is available to review your wishes regarding end of life decisions.
At the Koldin Law Center, P.C. with offices in Syracuse and Rochester, New York, we have over 40 years of experience helping elderly individuals plan for immediate crisis and long term care. Our firm represents clients in Monroe and Onondaga counties and throughout all of Upstate New York.
Contact our experienced Upstate New York elder law attorneys to schedule a free initial consultation. We are available for home and hospital visits and our flat fees are very reasonable.