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Choosing People to Perform Your Pocatello Estate Plan

When it comes to Pocatello estate planning we are talking about more than just giving your property away after you pass. To have a complete plan you will have additional documents that will enable you to choose specific people who will provide care for you during your life if you can no longer do it for yourself due to illness or injury. Additionally, a complete plan allows you to name individuals who will care for your money, property, and debts. We are confident that we can help you.

With over 70 years of experience, our Pocatello team of estate planning attorneys includes partners Randy Budge, and Lane Erickson, and attorneys Nate Palmer, and Dave Bagley. The attorneys on our Pocatello team have each earned the highest possible rankings from all of the major legal rating sources which include Justia, AVVO, and Martindale and Hubbell as well. We know that with our knowledge and experience we can help you and your family too.

Your Pocatello estate planning will involve several specific people that you will need to appoint or name to do specific things for you. These people will hold a specific position and play a critical role in your estate plan. So what are these positions that you should consider? Here is a short list:

Choosing a Guardian for Your Minor Children

Perhaps the first and most important position and role you may need to name an individual to perform for you in your Pocatello estate plan is as the guardian for your minor children. This will be critical if you are a parent with children who are minors which means they are under the age of 18. The person you name to take on this vital responsibility will be given the authority as the legal guardian of your children. This means they will act as a surrogate parent to your children and will to take possession and care of any property or money that you provide for your children directly through your last will and testament. Deciding who will become the guardian for your minor children is not an easy decision. Most parents will want to take time to think about who they want to name to this position.

Choosing a Power of Attorney for Yourself

An additional appointment you will need to think about for yourself is who you should name as your powers of attorney. This includes a power of attorney for your finances and property, and an additional power of attorney for so that healthcare and medical decisions can be made for you. The people you choose for these appointments should be people you not only trust, but also people who are capable of doing what needs to be done.

For the durable power of attorney that covers your finances and property, the person you choose can literally live just about anywhere in the world. This is because the internet and digital banking allow most bills, finances, banking, investing, and the lie to be done remotely online. It really is no longer necessary for the person you name as your power of attorney to live near you.

However, things are a little different when it comes to your health care power of attorney. The person you choose and name to make medical decisions for you if you can’t make them for yourself, will probably be taking you to the doctor's office and the pharmacy or to other medical or healthcare providers. Moreover, the person you choose to do these things could also be making a decision about long-term health care facilities that you may need to go to. Based on these things, it may be wisest for you to choose and name a person as your healthcare power of attorney who lives close to you. This will allow this person to more easily complete the responsibilities you’ve asked them to do.

Choosing a Personal Representative or Executor

Regardless of whether you have any other type of estate planning document you should at least have a valid written last will and testament for yourself. A will is the written document you use that allows you to give specific instructions about who you are giving your property to after you die.

There will likely be several people named in your last will and testament. However, the person you appoint to be responsible for carrying out the instructions in your last will and testament is the personal representative or executor. This person is given the legal responsibility to do what you have listed including filing probate proceedings for your your last will and testament, and making distributions through correct legal means.

As an example, if you pass away at a time when you own a home or other real estate a probate will be required so that the real estate can be transferred or sold. The person you name as your personal representative is given the legal responsibility to make sure this happens. Your personal representative is also the person who is given specific legal authority from a court to transfer your property to other, regardless of whether it is real property or personal property. Finally, your personal representative is required to make sure that all of your bills are cleared and that your creditors are paid.

Choosing a Trustee for Your Trust

It’s possible that your estate plan could also include a written trust. If this is the case, you will need to name a person as your trustee. This person should be capable and trustworthy because they are given the responsibility to carry out the specific instructions you leave in the trust. Administering a trust often involves either making small distributions over a long period of time, or making larger distributions less often. It also includes accounting for and closing the trust when all distributions have been made.

It really doesn’t matter what kind of distributions are made in a trust. The main point is that the individual you appoint as trustee is responsible for making sure the trust instructions are carried out and completed. When a trust is for a long period of time the trustee will also need to file taxes annually while handling and protecting all of the property or money in the trust. Additionally, the trustee will need to make and provide regular reports to the beneficiaries listed in the trust.

Choosing Successors

Finally, all of the appointments listed above will need to have successor named, in case the original person you choose is unable or unwilling to do what you have asked. This really just means that if the first person or people that you choose can’t or won’t do it, you should name a second choice and potentially a third choice that. The people you name as successors will be given the same authority, duties and responsibilities as the original people you name.

Enlist a Pocatello Estate Planning Attorney to Help You

We are confident that our Pocatello Estate Planning lawyers can help you. Whether you are seeking to create or review your own customized Estate Plan or would like to help a family member do the same, we are available to discuss your options and answer your questions at an initial free 30-minute consultation. Call us toll free at 877-232-6101 or 208-232-6101 for a free consultation. You can also email us directly at racine@racinelaw.net. We will answer your questions and help you solve your Pocatello Estate Planning problems.

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