Legal planning for death and sickness are simple projects the Goodin Abernathy team can help you prepare. Generally, this is known as Estate Planning. Our legal team at Goodin Abernathy regularly handles drafting Wills, Powers of Attorney, Health Care Representative and Health Care Directives. Setting these up these plans will help your loved ones with legal tasks when you become sick or die. The legal documents will apply even if you are undocumented. They are especially helpful if you are in a common law relationship where a marriage is not legally established.
In our Hispanic culture, the “pareja” or compañero is a common law spouse. The couple recognizes each other as dedicated life partners. But Indiana does not recognize this as a legally enforceable marriage. It also affects paternity issues and the rights of children to claim assets of their father. If the father of a child born in a pareja arrangement dies before paternity is legally established, special steps must be taken to protect the child’s legal interests. Otherwise, the father’s property may pass to extended family other than the child or common law wife. That is why our Legalmente Hablando Indy team helps Hispanic clients plan for protecting their family’s legal interests.
A Will is a legal document that describes your wishes for dividing assets after you die. You will select people to represent your legal interests in court or to do business. Then you will explain how you want your property divided. This could include transferring the title to a house or property to your spouse or other designated loved one. The Will can describe how you want personal items and money divided between your heirs. Establishing a Will can greatly help the distribution process after you die.
A Power of Attorney is a legally recognized document that transfers your decision powers to the person you choose when you are medically or mentally unable to make decisions. For instance, if you are in a COMA after an accident or unconscious due to COVID or other health complication, your legal representative can make reasonable and beneficial decisions for handling your financial affairs. Banks, realtors and other financial companies recognize these documents. This allows your loved ones to continue handling regular finances while you are incapacitated. When you recover, the representative’s powers are removed and you regain control.
A Health Care Representative appointment applies when you are medically or mentally incapacitated. Certain health laws prohibit doctors and hospitals from communicating with family members without written permission. The Health Care Representative appointment provides your chosen person to communicate with the doctors and learn about your medical or psychological condition. They may collect health records and make decisions for your treatment.
A Health Care Directive is a legally recognized document that give instructions to future healthcare providers regarding your treatment. For instance, if medical experts agree that you will not recover from a brain injury or serious illness, then you might want to instruct them not to keep you alive on artificial support. For many, these directions offer peace of mind their families are not burdened with attending to a body in a vegetative or non-responsive state.
Goodin Abernathy supports our clients with estate planning information and documents. The process is simple and offers people security their families and loved ones will be taken care during serious health events or death. Contact us for more information and let us help you plan to protect your family.