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Save your family from going to court through estate planning

The possibility of becoming incapacitated exists for every Delaware resident. No one knows when they will suffer serious injuries or contract a debilitating illness that makes it impossible to take actions regarding health care and finances without help. If the appropriate estate planning is not undertaken, family members could end up in court spending valuable time and money obtaining permission to act on your behalf.

When it comes to making health care decisions on your behalf, the fastest and easiest way to accomplish that is for you to appoint a trusted family member or friend to make medical decisions for you when you cannot make them for yourself. When coupled with your preferences for lifesaving and end-of-life treatments, there should be no question regarding your wishes. You may require a doctor's verification of incapacitation before this power of attorney takes effect just as you would for a durable power of attorney.

You tend to have more options when it comes to minding your assets and finances. You could title property so that someone else automatically has the same powers over it as you do, or you may appoint someone to act on your behalf. You may also consider putting your assets into a trust. Your successor or alternate trustee could "mind the store" while you are incapable of doing so.

Using estate planning to prepare for a day when you may not be able to pay your bills, decide on a medical treatment or otherwise deal with your financial and health affairs could save money, time and frustration if you become incapacitated. It may seem like a headache to do so now, but in a situation where your family members are already upset because you are injured or stricken with an illness, your advance preparations are a gift to them. A Delaware attorney could help you create an estate plan that fulfills this and other objectives you may have.

Source: thebalance.com, "How to Avoid Guardianship or Conservatorship", Julie Garber, Accessed on Sept. 24, 2017

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