Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Estate Planning Legal Terns Explained

Health Care Directive (Living Will) - A legal document in which you choose a health care agent to act on your behalf, set forth the extent of your health care agent’s powers, and state your desires regarding when and under what circumstances life-sustaining medical treatment should be withheld or withdrawn from you.

Estate - Means the property you own at death.

Executor - see Personal representative.

Fiduciary- Refers to a trusted person who acts on behalf of another and includes a personal
representative, guardian, financial agent, and health care agent.

Financial agent - A trusted person who you choose to manage your finances and make financial decisions for you when you are no longer capable of doing these things for yourself.

Guardian - A trusted person who you choose to care for your minor child(ren) (under 18)
if both you and your minor child(ren)’s other parent are deceased. A guardian can also
be chosen to care for a person over 18 who is adjudged to be legally incapacitated.

Health care agent - A trusted person who you choose to make medical decisions for you when you are no longer capable of making them for yourself. A health care agent will have access to your medical records if you lose health care decision-making capacity and will have any additional powers granted to them in your Advance Health Care Directive.

Partial distribution - A distribution under your Last Will to your surviving spouse of less than 100% of your estate. NOTE: a surviving spouse is legally entitled to an elective share of the deceased spouse’s estate. A surviving spouse can sue for his or her elective share if the Last Will makes a distribution to the surviving spouse that is less than the surviving spouse’s elective share.
Personal representative - A trusted person who you choose to administer your estate and make the gifts and distributions designated in your Last Will.
Power of attorney - A legal document in which you choose a financial agent to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated and are unable to make decisions for yourself and sets forth the extent of the financial agent’s powers.

Tangible personal property - Refers to items of personal and household property and includes
motor vehicles, furniture and furnishings, appliances, clothing, jewelry, heirlooms, collections, guns, club memberships, silverware, glassware, china, pets, books, pictures and other works of art, stamp collections, family memorabilia, etc.

Written statement - A written document signed by you or in your handwriting that describes
(1) items of tangible personal property you wish to give at death and (2) the recipient of each item.

Probate - In general, probate is the legal process for making sure that a decedent’s property is collected and preserved; the decedent’s debts and taxes are paid; and the remaining property is distributed to the beneficiaries designated in the decedent’s Will or, if the decedent died without a valid Will, to the decedent’s lawful heirs.