Let’s Talk Estate Planning from your Couch!
Our attorney Amy L. Miller. interviews attorney Blake Lawrence, an expert on Tax and Estate Planning from RespondLaw – www.respondlaw.com – Linkedin.com/in/blakelaurence.
My name is Blake Lawrence, I am an attorney at Davison Eastman, Muñoz Paone, we have offices in Freehold and in Toms River and my specialty area is Estate Planning Administration, Estate Litigation, and Elder Care, so those are the areas that I practice in the firm itself does a little bit of everything. But those are the areas that I concentrate on.
Amy: Can you just talk a little bit about, not just obviously, what I have been doing with you but what people can and should be doing while we are right now in this state of a different world, a state of a little bit of confusion and everyone’s just trying to figure out what they should be doing.
Blake: Sure, I mean now is a good time to start thinking about your estate plan, not that you want to be thinking about your own mortality but, it is good because we have the time. Life has kind of come to a screeching halt; at least it has for me, and there is no kids activity, so it is a good time to start checking something off the to-do-list. It is important you are doing it for yourself but really for your family, and that is the importance of estate planning.
The three main documents that you want is to be:
- Your last will and testament, that is going to dictate everything, where your assets are going to go, who is going to control everything once you pass away.
- Your living will, and unfortunately, right now, there is a great need to have that; hopefully, nothing happens to you or anybody else, but you want to be prepared, so the living will say who is going to make decisions for you if you cannot make them and then who is going to want you to want to happen to you. That is going to be an important document to have, and again we are in an interesting time where it used to be, you could talk directly to the doctor and the nurse in the hospital itself, but now you are not going to be able to do that everything is going to be done over the phone remotely so, a very different way to conduct important medical decisions.
- Power of attorney. The power of attorney is going to be important for financial decisions. So, if you are unable to access a bank account, your spouse can do it. You want to make sure that you have all your documents lined up just in case something were to ever happen to you or your spouse. You are prepared with the will, and if you have young kids under the age of 18, you want to make sure that you have guardians put in place for them. So, who is going to watch over the kids if something happens to you and your spouse? Those are good things to have, and also, when you want the kids to receive assets or get money, you want to wait until they are 18, and they can have it all at 18, or do you want to be able to stress that out over a period of time?
These are all very important things to consider, especially during the difficult times we are facing in this country and across the world.
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