Legal Documents and Financial Services
Will and Testament, Living Will, and Power of Attorney… most of you have likely heard of these legal documents, but some of you may not be familiar with what they are for. As Costen & Associates offers Financial Services, we thought it would be beneficial to our clients to explain the purpose of these documents and why we feel it’s important for you to have them.
Power of Attorney
This document provides written authorization to represent or act on the behalf of someone else with respect to their private affairs, business, or other legal matters. Related to Insurance, we often see clients who have Power of Attorney over the affairs of their elderly parents, or for a family member who is temporarily out of the country.
Living Will (also known as an Advance Directive)
This document consists of a set of written instructions that a person gives which specify what happens to them in certain situations related to their health. For example, if they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves due to an illness or being incapacitated, the instructions provide information on what course of treatment they would like to have followed by their health care provider and/or caregiver. Living Wills can be very general or extremely detailed, restricting certain courses of treatment or medications in certain events.
Will and Testament
This document involves a person naming one or more persons to handle their estate and the distribution of their property at the time of death. As with a Living Will, a Will and Testament can be very simple or very complex, depending on the amount of property and beneficiaries involved. Often times, property is split evenly between surviving beneficiaries, but in some cases, there may be a list of specific items left for certain people. Wills are also extremely important for people with underage children, as they can name a person to be appointed Guardian of their children in the event of their death.
With every Will and Testament, there must be at least one beneficiary named and the Will must be signed, dated and witnessed. There is no legal requirement for the Will be drawn up by a lawyer, but it is highly recommended to ensure that the Will accounts for all situations and stands up in court. In the event that a person dies without a Will, the courts will appoint an Executor (usually a family member) to handle the deceased person’s Estate.
With respect to Financial Services, it is highly recommended to have a Will and Testament, Living Will and Power of Attorney, so that all of your wishes are met and your loved ones are cared for in the event of an illness or death. If you have any questions regarding the above information, or if you would like to discuss the Financial Services that we offer, or obtain a reference to a lawyer who can assist you with drafting up these legal documents, please do not hesitate to contact our Office.
The Costen & Associates Team
Costen & Associate’s Financial Advisor – Lloyd Keating