Legally speaking: Let’s discuss simple steps to plan for estate administration

By B. Scott Skillman

Scott is an Indiana attorney in his 32nd year of practice. He is a member of United Hebrew Congregation and proud father of two children. Scott reminds us his columns are intended for informational use only and should not be considered “Legal Advice.” He believes everyone should feel comfortable asking questions of their attorneys. “There are no bad questions — only vague answers.”

Preparing for last wishes and estate administration is a topic relevant to us all and one most of us tend to delay or avoid confronting. Over the next several months (with the approval of the UHC board), I intend to present a series of articles about things we all can do — no matter what age or phase of life — to assist our families in the event of our incapacity or passing.

Do not hesitate to act

There are simple steps we can all take to help our families should we be unable to make decisions about our care or final arrangements. We need not fear these steps or hesitate to take them.

Although these moves ultimately deal with our passing, they are essential life choices. These choices convey our thoughts about how we wish to handle difficult decisions and take the stress of such decisions away from our families or life partners who otherwise might be forced to confront them due to a lack of clear communication on our part.

Upcoming topics

Throughout the series, I will discuss these subjects:

  • Creation and use of a Durable Power of Attorney, a statutory required document to allow others to act of on our behalf when we are unable.
  • Separate documents known as the Appointment of Health Care Representative, and the related Indiana Living Will Declaration.
  • The need to preserve user names and passwords for social media.
  • The need to keep a list of people to be contacted.
  • Finally, a will is an integral part of your estate plan.

In the interest of full disclosure, some of these tasks may require consultation with an attorney to assist with preparation and execution.

Consult with trusted legal counsel

Legally Speaking is not intended to, and should not, replace consultation with trusted legal counsel.

Rather, I am hoping to stir discussion and action toward your creating a workable plan to document a clear articulation of final wishes.

However, the best documents in the world mean nothing if your family can not located them! Toward that end, I will be highlighting the need to tell others where to find those important documents.

Stay tuned!

Featured image courtesy of Freepik

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