It is important to have a simple Will that directs how your hard-earned income and assets will be handled after you pass on. With a Will you can make sure that a representative whom you trust divides up your assets and distributes them to your beneficiaries. Even if you have made a family Trust, a Will is essential to provide for the distribution of items not properly included in the Trust property.
If spouses each want a Will and want to name each other as beneficiaries and entrust each other with the job of handling the Estate after one of them dies, they are called Reciprocal Wills.
It makes a lot of sense to create a Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney - called the New Hampshire Advance Directive - at the same time as making the Will. You will be consulting an Attorney and thinking through end of life decisions anyway. You will probably also be competent to make these difficult decisions about beneficiary responsibility and who you choose to handle your affairs when you can no longer do so.
An Advance Directive is the document that allows you to determine your end-of-life care. It allows you to specify in advance how much or how little you want done. It is a way of making your voice heard if you can no longer speak for yourself.
The Advance Directive is a document in two parts - the Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney.
The Living Will is the document that you create in which you advise your doctor how you wish to be treated when you are not in a position to make your own decisions because you have either become mentally incompetent or are physically unconscious, when you are near death and even if not near death. In this document you are speaking directly to your doctor.
The Health Care Power of Attorney signed in conjunction with the Living Will sets up a framework wherein a person of your choice, usually initially your spouse, acts as your agent to work with your doctor on these very important life and death issues. There are many, wide-ranging choices available in the Health Care Power of Attorney and many powers you can assign to your agent. You can limit or expand your agent's authority. Example - you can state specifically that your agent may act on your behalf even if you at the time disagree. So think about having dementia!! You may think it is fine to walk outside in sub-zero temperatures in your night-gown risking hypothermia. Your agent would have the power to obtain medical and other nursing care for your own protection.
With a Health Care Power of Attorney your agent can arrange nursing home, hospice and other treatments in facilities without the need of an Adult Guardianship. Most nursing homes will not accept a needy patient without either the Health Care Power or Attorney or a Guardianship. To obtain a Guardianship can be costly for your family and can take precious time when you may need nursing or other non-medical intervention.
The cost for these documents together with a consultation runs from $350.00 to $800.00 and depends on your needs. If we do Reciprocal Wills, the cost can be somewhat reduced. Fees are discussed in the initial meeting.
Please call 603 673-8323 or send an email
to [email protected] for more information.