Staff Spotlight: Kristi Worthington
Hello, my name is Kristi! I have been an employee of the firm for the past 4 years helping in whatever department I can. Many of our clients have probably spoken to me at some point in their case! Up until recently, I called Florida home. After six years and too much sun and sand, not to mention hurricanes, my family and I moved back to Western Pennsylvania to be closer to our family. When I am not working you can find me chasing around my 7 month old daughter or perfecting my new found passion for wood fired pizza.
Estate Planning Documents Explained
When I first arrived at Slonim Law I knew absolutely nothing about Estate Planning. I knew wills existed but I had no idea about the seriousness of them or how incredibly useful everything included in the Estate Planning bundle is. I’m here now to explain, in laymen’s terms, what each document is and what it does.
-Last Will and Testament – This is the one everyone knows about. This allows you to express your wants and needs after passing. For example, burial instructions and how to distribute your estate.
-Durable Power of Attorney – This is also commonly known. This document lets you appoint someone to make decisions for you in legal or financial matters. You specify what power you’d like someone to have. This one does not terminate if you become mentally incapacitated. It is effective immediately after execution.
-Health Care Surrogate- this document allows you to choose who to authorize to make medical decisions for you when you are unable to.
-Living Will – This helps you state your wishes for end-of-life medical care. For example, if you want DNR (do not resuscitate) measures in place. This is also sometimes called an advanced healthcare directive.
-Pre-Need Guardianship- a PNG lets you select who you would like to take care of you incase you are ever in need of a legal guardian.
When it comes to Estate Planning it is easy to see how things can get confusing. I definitely can now understand the need for an Estate Planning Attorney. Here at Slonim Law all you have to do is set up your appointment with me and then we will take the reins. We are all here to help make this an easy process for you. We hear time and time again how necessary these documents are, so hopefully this breakdown helps you to understand which ones will best fit your needs! Talk to you soon.
-Barbara – Office Coordinator
Pictured: Barbara and her Great Grandmother who just turned 102!
Who May Serve as a Guardian?
Any adult resident of Florida, related or unrelated to the potential ward, can serve as a guardian. Certain relatives of the ward who do not live in Florida also may serve as guardian.
However, people who have been convicted of a felony or who are incapable of carrying out the duties of a guardian cannot be appointed.
Individuals who are professional or public guardians can serve as guardian. Additionally, an institution such as a nonprofit corporation can be appointed guardian, but a bank trust department may act as guardian only of the property.
If the incapacitated person has a written declaration of pre-need guardian, the court shall appoint that guardian, as long as he/she/it is qualified, unless the court determines appointing such guardian is contrary to the best interests of the ward.
Why should you know this?
You never know when you will find yourself in a situation where you may need to be appointed a loved one’s guardian. It is also always good practice to have your affairs in order. A Pre-Need Guardianship will make the process a lot smoother if anything were to ever occur.
Call us now to learn more!