Page 31 - Southington Magazine Holiday 2019
P. 31

 Essentials of Estate Planning
by Jeremy Taylor
medical attention you want, or in some cases, don’t want when you become terminally ill and cannot communicate your wishes on your own. A (DNR) or Do Not Resuscitate order is a form of a living will in which a person chooses not to be kept alive on any artificial support if they are terminally ill.
Whether or not you choose to have a DNR order, It is also important to name a Health Care Agent, or a person who knows your health care wishes and can make important medical decisions on your behalf if you are unconscious or otherwise unable to make informed deci- sions on your own.
 Let’s be honest. Nobody likes to think
about estate planning or their own mortality.
You may think about it from time to time but
then your mind quickly turns to other things
on your “to do list”. You may wonder “why do I
need a will?” I don’t own a home, or a business,
or have a lot of assets. I am young, I am in good health...there will be plenty of time for me to
set up a plan for my future and my children and grandchildren. But life can change quickly, and
if the worst should happen, and you don’t have
your financial affairs in order, you will leave
your loved ones with a giant headache and pos-
sibly worse. The point is that no matter what stage in your life you are currently in, the time to act is NOW!
Drafting a Last Will and Testament
A Last Will and Testament is a legal document that com- municates a person’s final wishes pertaining to possessions and their dependents. A Will lets you protect your assets and control whom you want your assets to go to when you pass away. If you do not have a Last Will and Testament in place when you die, it’s called dying “intestate” and it means the State will decide who gets your assets based on your particular state’s Probate laws. A will is especially important to anyone with young children because a will is the best way to appoint guardianship (naming who will raise your children), if you, or your spouse, should pass away suddenly. It is also advisable to set up a simple trust in your will and appoint a trustee who will oversee your assets to ensure your minor children get the benefit of your estate assets when they need them.
Every will should name an “Executor”, who is a person or institution that will take on the responsibility of carrying out your wishes as detailed in your will. Your will also name “Ben- eficiaries”, which are the people or organizations who will receive your property after you pass away. If you have minor children then you will name a “guardian” to take care of your children if you should pass while they are under the age of eighteen. Finally, if you have minor children who can’t legally receive money, or circumstances in your life deem that cer- tain family members may benefit from having someone else, namely a third party, control your assets for their benefit, you will name a “Trustee”.
Importance of a Living Will
and an Advanced Medical Directive
The second essential document in your estate plan should be your Living Will including an Advanced Medical Di- rective. A living will is a document that contains a statement or statements of your wishes for the types of life-sustaining
Jeremy Taylor
Financial Power of Attorney
The third essential document in your estate plan should be a financial (POA) or Power of Attorney. Granting a per- son a financial Power of Attorney allows that person to act as your “agent”, on your behalf, to make financial decisions. This power allows your agent to sign your name and make financial decisions that they deem in your best financial in- terest. This document becomes very important if you become incompetent because of a temporary injury or a more serious infliction such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia and you lose the requisite decision-making ability or capacity to pay your own bills, manage investments or handle your daily finances.
I am often asked if you need to have an attorney draft a will or “Is this something I can do on my own?” Under Connecticut law, any person over the age of eighteen may execute a will. It is true that you can find online services or read books that outline how to draft a will, but buyer beware! As the subtitle of this article states “One Size Does Not Fit All”. Everyone’s fam- ily and financial situations can differ greatly. Sitting down with a local Estate Planning Attorney allows you to have insightful and detailed discussions with an experienced professional who can tailor a estate plan that fits your particular needs while discussing various options and scenarios that may be pivotal to facilitating the best plan for you. With the assistance of an attorney, you will be able to customize your will to address your concerns while gaining the peace of mind that your assets and loved ones will be protected after you pass away.
Jeremy Taylor is the owner and managing partner of the Law Office of Jeremy Taylor, LLC located in Plantsville. Attorney Taylor’s legal practice focuses mainly on Commercial and Residential Real Estate and Estate Planning. Attorney Taylor is a lifelong resident of the Town of Southington and currently resides in town with his wife and two daughters. Jeremy was a former Assistant Town Attorney of Southington, served on the Zoning Board of Appeals and is a long time member of the Southington Rotary Club. He also donates his time to numerous other town charities and organizations. Attorney Taylor can be reached at (860)628-0900 or at

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