Saturday, July 7, 2007
ESTATE PLANNING DOCUMENTS I HAVE & YOU SHOULD TOO Here are the estate planning documents that I have and I think every Texan should have: 1. Medical Power of Attorney for Health Care with the required disclosure statement. 2. Statutory Advance Medical Directive -- common known as a "LIVING WILL" I named mine -- Directive to Physician and to My Family and Friends 3. Declaration of Guardian in the Event of Later Incapacity or Need of Guardian -- no one thinks they will ever need this document -- but it can save you and your family much heartache if you do it! 4. Delcaration for Mental Health Treatment -- this document is fairly new in the State of Texas and since I have a limited medical knowledge I'm not real comfortable with it -- but I think it is a good document and one that execute after talking to an attorney that understands all the ins and outs of this document. 5. Appointment of Agent to Control Dispositon of Remains -- you absolutely need this if you are not married -- I strongly urge everyone to designate someone to be responsible for the funeral and/or memorial service. 6. Texas Dept. of Health Standard Out-of-Hospital Do-Not-Resusitate Order 7,. A Texas Will 8. Maybe -- Statutory Durable Power of Attorney -- a very powerful document in Texas -- BEWARE! There are many choices in this document and it MUST be done properly after talking to a knowledgeable attorney. I strongly urge everyone to review their estate planning documents every 5 years! I'm obsessive and I do it annually. I like the following estate planning attorneys because they are reasonable and they are all able to speak in plain English: 1. Kevin Alter 2. Keith Lynch 3. Patricia Bushman If you want to hire me to be your advocate, I charge $150 per hour to meet with you and then meet with any attorney you hire to make sure they do everything right! If you need a care manager, I personally recommend, BARBARA BOWER of Caremanagers, Inc. in Houston, Texas. She has been acting as an advocate for many, many years and my family uses her. I strongly urge you to hire an advocate when dealing with your elderly family members. She has saved me from pulling out all of my hair! She is appointed by many courts to represent people that have no family. She has been a life-saver for me! Why do I discount my rates? Because I've represented many of my parents friends in their legal problems and I think it's important for older folks not to be taken advantage of! My own father got "scammed" by a "nice young man from Florida" who was day-trading and lost over $250,000 of money within 90 days! Thank God, I was keeping track of his bank accounts and I happened to be eating lunch with my Dad one day when the "nice young man" called to see who my Dad was feeling that day! PS -- I hope this "nice young man" roasts in hell and suffers 10 times the losses he incurred for my Dad!