Most Americans are not fully prepared for auto accidents, household mishaps, medical incidents, dementia, and more…
Yes, you carry home, auto, and health insurance. But, that isn’t enough.
Hi, I’m Gary the owner of DeWitt Law. We take care of you every step of the way so you can care for your family.
I see people everyday that think their spouse or family has the automatic right to manage their affairs if they can’t. This just isn’t true. The law sees you as an individual and in charge of your own affairs. If you don’t have a plan in place and can’t make decisions, then everything in your name or that has your name on it is effectively frozen.
Let me explain.
If, no when, something happens, your legal affairs need to be in order. If, like many people, you wait until something happens, it’s often too late to get them in order. A reputable attorney will not let somebody that has dementia plan. A reputable attorney definitely can’t let an unconscious person or a person on narcotics for pain sign.
So, before anything happens, you need to make sure you and your family are cared for. You do this by setting up a plan for the management of your legal, personal, business, financial, and healthcare affairs.
First, you pick the person or people you want to manage your legal, personal, business, and financial matters. Those people will be named as your agent in a Durable Power of Attorney.
Then, you pick the person or people you want to make healthcare decisions for you. Those people will be named as your agent in a Healthcare Power of Attorney.
The other two documents you’ll want are a HIPAA Waiver – Medical Information Release – and a Living Will (also called an Advance Directive). The HIPAA waiver lets doctors and nurses share medical information with the people you choose. A living will, not to be confused with a Last Will and Testament, tells the doctors you don’t want to be hooked up to machines if there is no chance of a meaningful recovery.
If you don’t do this, then your family faces court in two ways.
First, if you can’t manage your financial affairs, legal matters, or healthcare during your lifetime, they have to get the permission of a Judge to manage your affairs. This is called a “guardiaship.” In a guardianship, a Judge picks somebody to manage for you. Their power is limited by state law. For certain decisions, they will have to ask the Judge.
Second is Probate. If you don’t have a plan for passing your stuff, then a Court will have be involved. You didn’t get a say about who got what, when, how, and how much. You didn’t get a choice in who will be in charge. Without a Will, the Judge will follow State law.
In both of these cases, you and your family lose their precious privacy. Court proceedings are a matter of public record. At a minimum addresses of those involved are published in the record. In the worst case, financial records are published in the record. This can lead to financial predators trying to separate you and your family from your money.
We take care of you every step of the way so you can care for your family. Start now at DeWitt dot law.