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When a Will is not enough (spoiler - it's usually never enough!)

I often hear "I just need a Will" but if a Will is your only legal plan and nothing else, you and your family might not be fully protected. For example, a house that we live protects us from the weather, but for a house to protect you, it needs a foundation, roof, and walls at the very minimum. Without one of those components, the house could flood (no roof), wash away (no foundation), or completely collapse (no walls).

A Will is just one component of an estate plan because it only controls what happens AFTER you die. When it comes to your legal "house," in order to be fully protected you need, at the very least, not just a Will but also two other components: a financial Power of Attorney and an Advanced Healthcare Directive (a.k.a. "Living Will") which are documents that govern what happens BEFORE you die when you are unable to make your own decisions, such as being in a coma or having advanced dementia. These three documents are the foundation, roof, and walls of a basic estate plan.

"If you run from a leaking roof, you'll end up with a flood. " - Mahmoud Abbas

Just like with building a house, there is not a "one size fits all'' Will, Power of Attorney, or Living Will; all of the documents we prepare at LESS Law, LLC are individually tailored to the client. The house you build will be based upon what you need for the environment that you are building in and what you want it to look like; you might NEED a wind resistant house if you live in tornado alley, but you might WANT that house to be covered with stone masonry instead of aluminum siding. My priority as an Estate Planning Attorney is to help you assess your legal environment and provide you with all of your options to determine what type of estate plan is best for your goals, your family, and your budget. Advanced Estate Plans include a few more components, such as Trusts or business agreements, which would be akin to a sump pump and back-up generator providing additional protection for a house in a flood zone.

If you are ready to build your "legal home" and customize your estate plan, you can request a consultation here.

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