We understand that people start thinking about legacies and preparing for physical and mental impairment at different stages of their lives.
Whether you are named Personal Representative, part of a changing family, a single and building assets, or simply choosing to draft a will for the first time, D.B. McCracken Law helps you plan for the future.
I work with you to design an estate plan that enhances asset protection, disposes of your property as you wish and honors your healthcare choices. Well-made plans may include:
Wills are legal documents that state who receives your property when you die as well as many other things: wills create trusts for surviving spouses, children or other beneficiaries; they appoint guardians for minor children; set up succession plans for family-owned businesses; establish charitable gifts to causes important to you; and may include final statements. Without a will that records your choices, a decision as to what happens to your property is set by law. With a will, you shape your legacy.
A trust is an arrangement in which one person holds title to property for the purpose of keeping or using the property for the benefit of another. Trusts are frequently created with wills, spelling out how money and property will be handled for surviving spouses, children, including adult children with special needs, or other beneficiaries. We will help you design a trust that meets your interest in controlling your property today while meeting your loved ones’ needs in the future.
Powers of Attorney
When you authorize someone to act for you, that person is called your agent. A power of attorney is a document by which you appoint a person to act as your agent. The most common powers of attorney are general (or financial) and health care powers of attorney. Through a durable power of attorney, an agent may continue to act on your behalf even after you have had a stroke or other incapacitating illness or accident. If the power of attorney so provides, the agent can use your funds to pay your bills, can contract for long-term care services for your benefit, and can make basic health care decisions for you.
Advance Directives and Living Wills
An advance directive is an instruction by a patient as to the withholding or withdrawing of certain medical treatment in advance of the patient suffering a condition rendering the patient unable to refuse such treatment. A competent patient always has the right to refuse treatment for himself or herself or direct that such treatment be discontinued. We will help you document your advance directives so that you can continue to direct your health care treatment in the event you become incapacitated.
A living will is simply a type of advance directive. While advance directives relate to conditions when a person is incapacitated, living wills more narrowly relate to a condition where death will occur within a short period of time, regardless of whether or not certain treatment is provided. Living wills became more widely used after the case of Nancy Cruzan in Missouri brought to the public’s attention the problems faced by the next of kin to persons who are comatose and who are not likely to recover.
When disagreements start dominating family interactions, mediation is a good option to bring in a neutral person who will listen to and work with everyone’s interests. Mediation can help resolve conflict without the expense and hurt feelings that can follow hard fought court battles.
Navigating through the probate process can be a difficult, but necessary task. I will help you administer the estate of your loved one, resolve debts, and transfer property with efficiency and compassion.
In addition to administering wills and estates for deceased persons, probate matters include appointing guardians and conservators for children and adults that courts find to be disabled or incapacitated, and ordering civil involuntary detention for treatment of persons with mental disorders who are unable to care for themselves.
Guardianship & Conservatorship
Acting in the best interests of a child or adult is a responsibility that we will help guide you through. Guardianships and Conservatorships give a trusted person the authority to make most decisions for another about their care and custody and management and control of their financial affairs.