Customizing Estate Planning Documents For Individuals
If you have never had your basic estate planning documents prepared, Cooper Law LLC can help you. We will guide you through the decision process in preparing and executing your:
- Last Will and Testament
- Advance Health Care Directive, and
- Power of Attorney (POA)
We will help you decide:
- who should serve as the executor of your estate under your last will and testament,
- what care you want to receive if you end up with a terminal condition or are determined to be permanently unconscious,
- who you want to make health care decisions for you if and when you cannot do so (your health care representative),
- what care you want to receive when you don’t have a terminal condition and are not determined to be permanently unconscious, and
- who you want to make decisions with respect to the care of your body when you cannot make those decisions (your conservator).
In your Advanced Health Care Directive, our principal attorney, Isaiah Cooper, will also help you document whether you will make a gift of your organs when you pass.
Finally, we will prepare a POA form that will allow you (the “Principal”) to appoint a person (or persons) to manage all of your financial affairs in your place.
What You Need To Know About POAs
A POA form may be effective upon execution, or it may be a “springing” POA, which becomes effective only upon the occurrence of some future event, including the Principal becoming incapacitated.
Some people feel safer with a springing POA because the person appointed (the attorney-in-fact) may not take action until the Principal is incapacitated. This means that the appointed attorney-in-fact may not steal assets from the Principal upon execution of the POA. A springing POA should also provide who will determine whether the event making the POA effective (generally incapacity) has occurred.
If the future event is the incapacity of the Principal, the “springing” POA we prepare for you will allow the attorney-in-fact, in consultation with the Principal’s doctor(s), to determine whether the Principal has, in fact, become incapacitated.
We will prepare a form of affidavit approved by the Connecticut Uniform Power of Attorney Act that the attorney-in-fact will be able to complete at the time when the Principal has become incapacitated.
The act authorizes a person chosen to determine incapacity in a POA to act as the Principal’s personal representative under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), to access the Principal’s health care information and to communicate with the Principal’s health care providers.
Let Us Help You Protect Your Legacy And Your Loved Ones
It is never too early to make plans for the future. The COVID19 Pandemic has made clear that we may each quickly become incapable of making decisions for our own health care. We recommend that parents have an Advanced Health Care Directive prepared whenever one of their children turns eighteen (18). Without an Advanced Health Care Directive, the child’s doctors and other health care providers may not communicate with the parents concerning their eighteen-year-old child’s care.