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In the area of Estate Planning, one common misconception many people share is that the entirety of their assets will be distributed in accordance with their Last Will and Testament. For instance, if a person’s Will states that their estate is to be divided equally between their three children, many people incorrectly assume that each child will receive 1/3 of ALL of that individual’s various assets. This may not be the case!

So what exactly does a Will provide? Your Last Will and Testament is a legal document which allows you to express in writing how and to whom your “estate” will be distributed. The assets that comprise your “estate” include personal property, real estate, and bank/investment accounts. Your estate does NOT include any assets that contain a proper beneficiary designation such as insurance polices, IRAs, Retirement Plans and certain other bank/investment accounts. These assets will pass outside of your Will and are distributed directly to the beneficiary that you have designated.

At Zacharia Brown, we know that it is extremely important for you to understand which legal documents and agreements control how and to whom your assets will pass. Once you have this knowledge, you will be able to make informed decisions regarding your overall estate plan and how the entirety of your assets will be distributed upon your passing.

OUR For more information on Wills and Zacharia Brown, please visit us at PittsburghElderLaw.com or call us at 724.942.6200. For ongoing news, seminars, events and updates, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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In the estate planning world, many people seek our counsel with regard
to creating or updating their Will or Trust. And while these documents
do serve specific functions regarding disposition of assets upon one’s
passing, many clients are neglecting to inquire about one of the most
important estate planning documents they will ever need, a Durable
Power of Attorney.

So what exactly is a Durable Power of Attorney? This powerful document
allows you to appoint an Agent to act on your behalf with regard to
Financial and Medical matters should you be unable to make and/or
communicate decisions on your own.

A Durable Financial Power of Attorney (POA) allows your Agent to have
access to your financial accounts and records so that he/she can
manage and make informed decisions regarding your financial affairs if
you are unable to do so. This document is not only essential in
allowing for day to day management of your finances, but also in
implementing asset protection planning for long term care.

A Durable Medical Power of Attorney (POA) and Living Trust allows an
Agent, also chosen by you, to have access to your doctors, medical
records and wishes for life sustaining treatments in order to make
medical decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated.
Having these documents in place ensure that you alone are the one who
is choosing a person to oversee your medical decisions, rather than
having someone appointed by a court.

When meeting with clients, the attorneys at Zacharia Brown take time
to discuss exactly why these documents are so important, especially
with regard to Estate and Elder Law Planning issues. We also stress
that since the law in this area is constantly evolving, it is
essential to get high-quality Power of Attorney documents from an
experienced Elder Law attorney.

For more information on Durable Powers of Attorney and Zacharia Brown,
please visit us at PittsburghElderLaw.com or call us at 724.942.6200

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At the start of a new year, it is inevitable that people will make one or several resolutions to accomplish in the year ahead. Unfortunately, in many cases, these resolutions fall by the wayside and are never completed. The start of 2017 is a perfect time to examine your personal situation and come up with a list of things to accomplish.

One important goal that should be at the top of everyone’s list is a review or creation of your estate plan, including a Will and/or Trust, Durable Financial and Medical Powers of Attorney, along with a Living Will/Health Care Directive. Creating these important documents will ensure that your wishes are carried out in the event something happens to you. Without these documents, important decisions regarding your healthcare and financial matters may be decided by someone you would not have chosen.

While many people believe that the creation of an estate plan is an onerous prospect, in reality, it is fairly painless process. At Zacharia Brown, we ensure that your time spent with us is both productive and easy so that we can prepare these important documents and put your mind at ease. Please contact us at 724.942.6200 or visit our website at PittsburghElderLaw.com to set up an appointment and keep this important New Year’s Resolution.

You will be glad that you did!