ESTATE PLANNING TOOLS
A durable power of attorney is essential to any estate plan and one of the most powerful tools we use. A durable power of attorney allows someone you have appointed, called the “attorney-in-fact,” to manage your financial affairs during your life if you become incapacitated and are unable to do so yourself. A durable power of attorney avoids the need to have a court appoint a guardian or conservator to act for you, which would otherwise take time, involve court costs and there is no guarantee that a judge would appoint the person you would prefer.
A healthcare proxy is a document one (a “principal”) executes that appoints another individual to serve as the persona’s health-care “agent.” The agent becomes empowered once it is determined that the principal lacks capacity to make and communicate health-care decisions.
A Declaration of Homestead, once recorded at the appropriate Registry of Deeds, protects the equity of your home up to $500,000 from the claims of creditors. This amount can be increased to $1,000,000 for couples over the age of 62.