When people die, especially those with a lot of money and properties, and they haven’t specified which things goes to whom, a battle ensues between the remaining family members. Devastating family feuds resulting after the death of a family member could be completely avoided by arranging the documents to prepare before death. Many people know that they need to prepare some type of documents before they die, especially if they own valuable properties. However, they don’t know the specific documents to prepare before death. Keep on reading this article because it will discuss what types of documents are needed that can prevent expensive and devastating legal battles if death occurs in the family.
- Last Will and Testament
The very first document that will prevent legal battles and family feuds over the properties of a dead family member is the Last Will and Testament. It is a document that specifically spells the desire and wishes of the departed family member regarding his or her estate and assets. This document spells out how the dead person’s estate and assets will be distributed among the remaining family members or his beneficiaries. A Will could be as simple as written document that signifies the intention of a person as to what will happen to his properties after his death, or it could be in legal form with the entire legal lingo that makes the document more formal. If the person anticipates some that his Will will be challenged, he needs to have a lawyer to do it. The Will must be notarized, and of course, properly witnessed.
The next document that will prevent family feuds after death occurs in the family is a paper designating the dead person’s executor. This executor will be the person tasked with settling the assets and estate and executing the provisions specified in the will. The chosen executor could be the spouse of the deceased or the oldest of the children. It is best to choose an executor who is not only able to handle the emotional aspects but of the business matters as well. He or she should be mature, emotionally strong and has the business acumen to disburse of his or her responsibilities in a fair and even manner.
A Last Will and Testament will indeed tell the law or the court of the land what to do with the deceased’s assets or estate. However, it will not keep the remaining family members out of court which could be very costly and also put the affairs of the family in public. The Trust document is a better choice since it will keep the family out of court. This document will make it easy for the family because it specifically spells out what the deceased person wants to do with his or her assets and the designated person who will be the legal executor.
- Living Will
Another useful document for someone who is anticipating death is a Living Will. This is an important document that specifies the wishes of the person as to what health care or treatment he or she wants to receive when he or she becomes unable to make decisions. An example of a Living Will is the directive to medical professionals not to perform CPR if the person’s breathing stops or the heart stops beating. This document could take the form of a medical power of attorney which appoints someone as the person’s proxy to make healthcare decisions in case he or she becomes mentally incapacitated. The person designated as proxy must be someone who has the complete trust of the one executing the Living Will.
- Power of Attorney
Aside from the medical power of attorney, a durable power of attorney will also be useful. This document designates a family member, relative or a close friend to be the legal representative of the deceased. This person is to be responsible for making financial decisions such as selling assets or estate, paying the taxes and paying the bills.
- Kids Protection Plan
If a person has dependent children, he needs to name a guardian to care for them at the time of his or her death. The Kids Protection Plan also specifies the education and health care that the children should have. This document is very important if the person has a disabled child. It will take care of the child’s needs in education and healthcare not only for the short-term but for the long-term as well.