Estate Planning

Kinghorn Law focuses on Estate and Business Planning, Living Trusts, Trust Administration, and Long-term Care & Medicaid (ALTCS) Planning.

We counsel clients on the unique legal issues relating to advancing age. Whenever possible, we prefer to help clients plan for the future, avoid probate, minimize taxes, and solidify their legacy. We also help clients plan for possible incapacity and long-term care. We help our clients deal with issues of aging with independence and dignity.

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Estate Planning

Tucson Power of Attorney

Statistics show that you will likely need long-term health care at some point in your life. According to a 2009 estimate, more than 42 million Americans provide care to an adult with limitations in daily activities.

If you be­come mentally or physically disabled, such that you are unable to manage your own affairs, the probate court will appoint someone to take control of all your assets and personal affairs. This process is called Living Probate and is often expensive, time-consuming, and humiliating.

What will you do if you or a loved one becomes disabled? Do you have a plan of action in place?

Incapacity Planning

Incapacity planning involves making decisions in advance of a physical or mental disability where you are unable to take care of yourself.

In your plan, you state your wishes regarding how you will be cared for and you give somebody else, such as a spouse or adult child, the power to make financial and health care decisions on your behalf.

Depending on your particular situation, incapacity planning could include a number of techniques to spell out your decisions regarding everything from paying your bills to making critical medical decisions. This includes creating a Durable Power of Attorney for financial matters, Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare and a Living Will.

Do You Need a Power of Attorney?

If you do not want a judge in court deciding what happens to you and your assets, you need a power of attorney.

Anyone, of any age, could become involved in an accident or could suffer some type of unexpected medical emergency, like having a stroke or a heart attack. If you are taken to the hospital and cannot communicate your decisions on medical care, someone is going to need to make choices for you on important care decisions.

If you make a power of attorney, you get to be the person who decides who makes your decisions and manages your assets.

If you don’t make a power of attorney, then the court gets to decide who is in charge.  That person might not be someone you would have trusted or someone who shares your views on medical choices and asset management.  This is a bad situation, as your future will be in the hands of whomever the court feels is appropriate.

If your accident or illness leaves you impaired and unable to make decisions on a temporary or permanent basis, someone will also need to step in and start managing your affairs. Someone is going to need to take care of your property and assets, decide where you live, and decide how you will be cared for.

Your family is also going to be in a bad situation if you have not made a power of attorney and something happens to you. They’ll be forced to go through complicated guardianship or conservatorship proceedings so the court can name a guardian. As this process unfolds, the value of your assets could be declining because no one is actively managing your wealth or acting with the authority to make decisions. 

When (and How) Should You Create a Power of Attorney?

You should create a power of attorney now, if you do not have one already, so the undesirable outcomes of not having a power of attorney do not happen.

There is no guarantee that tomorrow won’t be the day that an unexpected accident or illness strikes. The only way you can make sure you and your family are protected is to act while you are still able to make your power of attorney.

Don’t assume you can wait until you are old, as the stakes are too high not to have the protection a power of attorney provides.

When you are ready to make a power of attorney, you should have an experienced attorney assisting you. It is important to have a lawyer so you will understand the language you need to use to create a legally valid power of attorney and so you can ensure that your power of attorney is going to be in effect when you need it.  Your power of attorney has to be durable, for example, so it does not expire exactly when you need it at the time when incapacity occurs.  It should also be a general power of attorney so your agent has broad authority to act on your behalf. 

How can a Tucson Power of Attorney Lawyer Help You?

A Tucson power of attorney can provide you with assistance in creating a power of attorney that is legally valid and that provides the expected protections for you and your loved ones.

Speak with Kinghorn Law about how our legal team can assist you with power of attorney creation. We can also offer advice to those who have been named as an agent and who must assume their role as a power of attorney.

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