Whether you need a will to distribute your assets after your untimely demise, or a way to manage your finances with the help of a trusted assistant if you're out of the country or incapacitated, a trusts lawyer can help you arrange a set of decisions that can change as needed. Here are a few will and trust concepts to help you think about what you may need to cover when you're no longer in complete control of real estate, bank accounts, and business resources.
Power Of Attorney Management
If you're in medical hardship and unable to make business or personal finance decisions on your own, or if you're too far away from your home and/or business to handle important business, a power of attorney is necessary if your obligations can't be handled automatically--and few obligations are that simple.
With a power of attorney, you can assign a person or persons to handle different levels of financial decisions. The document can be as simple as handling bill payments to certain accounts, or as complex as giving someone the helm of a business.
It's not just to make sure that bills have been paid. A sudden military deployment or an emergency medical situation could leave your business or family with a lot of conflicting opinions about what you would want. Some of the decisions could be honest disagreements, while others may be hostile takeover attempts that you can't easily reverse.
With a power of attorney decision, you can set different levels of control and design checks and balances between different assigned agents. A lawyer can help you make sense of those different levels of control, and most importantly, a lawyer will design a binding control to serve as instruction and legal backing in case of disagreements.
Will And Other Beneficiary Situations
The story is almost a cliche; a family divided by who gets what after a person with lots of resources passes away. Sometimes it's greed, other times an issue of pride, but it's also an understandable set of disagreements about the right thing to do when you're not able to have a say in the matter--and won't be back to eventually give an answer.
A will can assign specific assets and services to specific people, and it can designate specific requirements before allowing the beneficiary to receive the benefits. This can include delivering funds or real estate to a young person while designating a specific person as a responsible controller of the account, or even exclude specific guardians.
For living trusts, you can even designate specific levels of control to a trustee with different levels of service. This can include giving a percentage of funds until a child reaches a certain age, or until a specific responsibility has been involved.
Speak with a will and trusts lawyer, like one from Thomason & Hessmer, to discuss other options for designating control over your assets when you're unable to administrate the situation yourself.