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Natick - Local Town Pages

Things to Get Done Because Summer is Right Around the Corner

Tiffany A. O’Connell, 
Principal Attorney
O’Connell Law LLC


After two long years of waiting, I finally had the opportunity to go to Paris.  It did not disappoint.  Having the freedom to travel again and go places, also brings the responsibility to make sure our legal affairs are in order.  So that you too can go off and enjoy your time away from home, let’s make sure you can have peace of mind knowing that you’ve got everything orderly in case something should unexpectedly happen.

The Legal Documents You Need If You Should Become Incapacitated: If you should ever become incapacitated, it is critical to have a Power of Attorney in place so that the person you want to take care of your financial matters can legally step into your shoes to handle something for you if you are unable to do so.  It is also essential to have a Health Care Proxy in place so that the person you want to make medical decisions for you, if you can’t, is legally authorized to do so.  If you don’t have these documents in place, and something happens to you, your loved ones may need to go to court so that they can act on your behalf.  Having to go to court is costly, time-consuming and very stressful for those who need to take care of you.  That cost, time and stress can be completely avoided by getting a Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy in place now while you are still able to do it.

The Legal Documents You Need When You Have Young Children:  At the very minimum, in addition to the above documents, if you have minor children, it is essential to get a Will in place and name a guardian who will care for your child if you can’t.  It is not unusual to hear from a client that it took them a long time to come and see us because they just couldn’t decide who they wanted as guardian for their children if they died. Although making this decision is a hard one, if you are having trouble deciding, just imagine what it would be like for a court to decide. Sometimes a decision (especially one that you can change) is better than no decision. An estate planning attorney can help you through your decision-making process and help you get an appropriate Will done so that your children will be taken care of.

The Legal Documents You Need Done NOW In Order to Be Prepared for the Future:  None of us like to think about dying, but not thinking about having the appropriate legal documents in place prior to something happening, no matter how unexpected it is, will just leave a mess for your loved ones.  In addition to having a Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy (see above), you should have a Will even if you do not have young children so that you can say what you want to have happen and not leave it up to the state to decide it for you.  A Revocable or Irrevocable Trust may also be important.  A Trust can help avoid probate, minimize taxes, potentially give you asset protection, and make sure those who you want to benefit are taken care of in the way you want.  

You’ve Got Legal Estate Planning Documents, But They Are Old:  You may say, ‘well, I already have these legal documents.’  That’s great, but do they still make sense for you?  Estate planning documents need to be updated over time.  If your documents are over 5 years old, you should have them reviewed by an estate planning attorney to make sure they still work for you and, if they don’t, get them updated.
Now, go ahead and schedule that trip.  However, also give us a call at 508-202-1818 so that you can get the above done now and then enjoy whatever you do and wherever you go.