If you have no disablity plan in place, someone must go to court to set up a conservatorship for you.

This will take at least 2 attorneys, one for you and one for the guardian.  It is expensive, and you will pay for it. But if you have a Revocable Trust in place, the Successor Trustee can take over immediately and manage your finances just as you have set out in the Revocable Trust.

 

A complete estate plan should include preparation just in case you are disabled and can’t make health or financial decisions for yourself.

If you do not have these documents in place before they are needed, someone would have to go to court to get permission from a judge to handle your finances and health. Going to court is a time-consuming and expensive process.

 

I include all of these documents as part of a comprehensive estate plan.

 

A Durable power of attorney for management of property and personal affairs.

A general power of attorney is primarily intended to give the agent you have chose the power to deal with your finances in the event of your incapacity. Please be aware that this document gives your agent broad powers to dispose of, sell, convey and encumber your real and personal property. It can be effective as soon as you sign it or it can “spring” into effect once a doctor verifies that you are incapacitated.

 

You should fully understand the broad powers that this document assigns before you sign one. Also, some banks will not accept a power of attorney that is “old” however the bank defines old.

One of the advantages of a revocable trust is that you can name a successor trustee who steps in automatically when you are disabled and bank accept don’t claim that your revocable trust is too “old.” There is no need for court supervision unless you want it.

 

A Health Care Power.

The Health Care Power gives your named agents the power to make medical decisions, sign consents and/or releases with hospitals and/or doctors. It can also include a “living will” for end-of-life decisions directions for your physcician.

 

You can download the Rhode Island statutory form for FREE at http://www.health.ri.gov/forms/legal/DurablePowerOfAttorneyForHealthCare.pdf.

 

BUT be sure to fill it out carefully and have it witnessed or notarized correctly or it won’t be valid. Also, it is important to give a copy to the necessary people, such as your doctor and local hospital. If you don’t understand the document, you should discuss it with a lawyer before you sign it.

 

HIPAA authorization and waiver.

The HIPAA Authorization and Waiver is a “stand-alone” document to authorize your health care providers to release information concerning your otherwise confidential medical information to the individuals you have designated to act on your behalf in the event of disability and to any other individuals who you would also want to have such access. Technically, even your spouse cannot get health information about you.

 

So if you want your loved ones to be able to check on you if you’re in a hospital or nursing home, their names must be on a list.

 

Estate Planning &
IRA Beneficiary Trusts


I prepare all documents myself and am there to make sure the signing is done properly. Your file will never be handed off to a paralegal. I specialize in quality, not quantity.

Zona Douthit, Attorney at Law

Phone: (401) 305-8094
Fax: (401) 753-6303
Email: Click here to contact me.

Plan for Your Family's Future


"Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning."

– Thomas Edison

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