As we approach Thanksgiving, we should all take some time to be thankful for the many blessings of life. For me, this is a time of reflection and gratitude but it can also be a reminder to be prepared for potential unexpected events in life.
A few important documents can make a world of difference for you or your loved ones should one of these unexpected events happen. A will, power of attorney, and health care power of attorney (also known as a living will) are three of the most important.
A will is an important document that generally allows a person to decide who gets his assets after he dies. With a will, the probate process will likely be less expensive and less complicated for your beneficiaries than if you pass away without a will in place. A will can also help ensure that your wishes are followed regarding your estate after death. Without a will in place, property passes to your living heirs according to South Carolina law, leaving very little control over who gets what.
A power of attorney is another important legal document. As opposed to a will that functions after death, a power of attorney is a valid document only as long as you are alive. With this document, you can grant another person the power to act on your behalf regarding financial, real estate, and other matters. The power of attorney can be broad or more limited, depending on your specific purpose for having one.
Finally, a health care power of attorney, or living will, is a document that allows you to specify your desires for medical treatment in advance. It also allows you to designate an individual to make health care decisions for you should you not be able to make those decisions yourself.
As with any important legal document, you should discuss these documents with your attorney in order to ensure that they are completed correctly and in accordance with South Carolina law.
This holiday season, let’s all be thankful, but let’s also be prepared.
The posts on this website/blog are published as a service to our clients and friends. They are intended to provide general information only and should not be construed to be formal legal advice regarding any specific situation and should not be construed as forming an attorney-client relationship. Success in the past does not indicate the likelihood of success in any future representation.
Blog post by attorney Michael Gault. Click here to learn more about Michael.