Monday, August 1, 2022 / by Carolyn Kampa
I am 63 years old and my husband Don is 69. We were at a point a couple of years ago where we knew we needed to do something with estate planning but weren't sure where to start.
We were invited to a presentation by Hooper Law. They focus exclusively on elder law and are located here in Appleton, Wisconsin. That seminar gave us a really great overview of what estate planning involves. We were happy to take Peter Harbach up on his offer of a FREE two hour consultation. Yes, he gave us two hours of his time to talk specifically about our personal situation and make recommendations.
He spent time asking detailed questions, in just the right order. He learned about us and our family, what we valued, and what our wishes were for the future. After a thorough interview, he went to a white board and outlined his advice for our entire future. It was simple, clear, and concise. It was a relief to know we had a realistic plan, and we were happy we had taken care of it while we were still relatively young and healthy because it gave us the most flexibility in our plan.
His plan offers us financial security now and in the future. It also gives us peace of mind knowing that everything will be taken care of, no matter what the future brings.
Let me share with you some of the things we learned. First of all, there are four documents every adult needs. They provide for incapacity and allow for your affairs to be handled no matter what the circumstances. They include Power of Attorney for Finance, Healthcare Power of Attorney, Living Will, and HIPAA authorization.
He had specific recommendations on the design of the Power of Attorney documents and appointing agents to take care of matters on our behalf.
The Living Will is a directive to physicians regarding our wishes for end-of-life care.
The HIPAA authorization provides a list of people who can receive our medical information. An interesting point not often thought of--if you are the parent of a young adult and your child has not created a document like this, you cannot get information on their condition if they are involved in an accident. This one is especially important for EVERY adult.
Peter also talked with us about the difference between Wills and Trusts, and the relationship of Wills and probate. Although it no longer applies to us, he pointed out that a Will is the only document that will allow you to name guardians for your minor children in the event of your death. He also said that if we were to have any specific instructions for after our deaths, this would be the instrument for that.
He spent time explaining and answering all of our questions regarding Trusts. A Trust is a document that allows you to maintain control of your property during your lifetime, ensures that your property is available to take care of you if you need care, protects your children and their inheritance, and saves taxes and court costs after you pass away.
He made other helpful suggestions including reviewing our life insurance policies with our insurance agent to make sure any gaps were covered.
If you would like to know more about estate planning in general we invite you to view Peter's Home Edition video--Estate Planning for the Pandemic.
If you would like to take Peter and Hooper Law up on their offer of a FREE two hour consultation you can visit their website or give them a call at (920)993-0990. Tell them Cindy sent you!