Getting Organized: Attending to Legal Matters

Vacations are over, the children are back in school, and you have decided to welcome the new season by getting organized. This is a good time to assess where you are and where you are going. Take advantage of the momentum and take charge of your life:

Estate Planning.

If you do not already have a Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney, and Advance Directive, this is the time to put those documents in place.

Should anything happen to you, you want to be certain that your loved ones are not unduly burdened.

  • Without a Will that clearly identifies a Guardian for your minor children, they may become wards of the state pending a Court ruling, if both parents have died. The shock of losing parents could become the trauma of being placed in foster care.
  • A Power of Attorney protects your family finances by permitting the person you name to manage your finances in the case of your inability to do so, whether short- or long- term.
  • The Advance Directive helps to relieve your loved ones of the burden of making your end-of-life decisions: it is a way for you to legally make your wishes known to all.

If you have basic Estate Planning documents in place, you may wish to review them with your attorney to be certain that they are up to date and reflect your intentions.

Property Matters.

With a fragile real estate market trying to make its way toward recovery, start preparing now if you want to sell your property in the upcoming year. Call upon your attorney to help resolve any boundary disputes with your neighbors, make sure all deeds are properly recorded, and confirm that no unexpected liens or other matters cloud your good title to your property.

Caring for Others.

If you have a child or disabled adult with special needs in your household, then make this the year that you re-evaluate your use of services for him or her. A good attorney can help you assure that your household benefits from all of the rights and services available.

If you have elderly parents, this is a good time to help them get their affairs in order. Encourage them to think about – or update – their estate plans and asset management. They may benefit from some contingency planning in the event that one or both becomes disabled or incapacitated.