Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need an estate plan?
Estate plans are useful for:
- Young parents, because a Will is the only way you can direct the court who you want to care for your children after you are gone;
- Big life changes, such as a wedding, a new baby, major financial changes, grandchildren, retirement, or health issues;
- Making your wishes known;
- Avoiding family conflicts; and
- Ensuring your peace of mind.
What is a Personal Representative?
The Personal Representative is the person, bank or trust company you name to be responsible for carrying out the provisions of your Will. You may name one or more alternates in the event the person nominated is unable to serve. You may also name Co-Personal Representatives if you believe this is appropriate. Married couples often name their spouse as their first choice, though this is not required.
What is a Living Will?
Living Will documents state your desire that you not be hooked up to life support systems or subjected to certain medical procedures should your condition become terminal or should you be determined to be in a persistent vegetative state which is reasonably believed to be irreversible.
What is a Health Care Representative Appointment?
Health Care Representative Appointments are powers of attorney in which you may designate, in advance of an illness or medical emergency, the person or persons you want to make medical decisions about your care in the event you are unable to make these decisions for yourself. The person you designate will also see that your wishes expressed in a Living Will are carried out.
What is a Limited Liability Company?
An LLC is a formal association that combines the advantage of a corporation’s limited liability and the flexibility and single taxation of a general partnership. An LLC has members rather than shareholders. A member enjoys protections from the liabilities and debts of the LLC. Although not required by law, an LLC should operate under an Operating Agreement which is like a Partnership Agreement. This makes disregarding the corporate form to go after your personal assets (“piercing the veil” of liability) more difficult for a potential creditor. If the LLC qualifies under IRS guidelines, it may be taxed only once, like a partnership, at the employee or member level, while not having the same restrictions as an S-Corporation.