the law office of mark a. criss
Located in Cranberry Township, PA
The information on this website is for general information only and does not constitute legal advice.
WILLS AND ESTATE PLANNING
Your Will speaks when you die. It says who will be in charge of paying your debts, including any taxes due, and who will receive your assets. Sometimes Trusts are used, particularly when children are either primary or potential beneficiaries of an estate, as in the case of both parents dying simultaneously.
Your Power of Attorney focuses on the problem of a person becoming disabled or incapacitated. Who will step in and pay your bills, arrange for your personal care, handle decisions that need to be made? Your Will speaks at your death. Your Power of Attorney can speak until your death. This important document is missing from far too many estate plans. It is for everyone, not just the wealthy.
The last planning document we routinely prepare comes in a variety of types and is described by a variety of names: Living Will, Health Care Declaration, Heath Care Power of Attorney, Advance Directive for Health Care, etc. All of these documents attempt to set forth what the client wants to happen in case of a medical condition or illness which will eventually be fatal. These documents are made available to medical personnel when it becomes necessary in most cases, though some family practitioners will keep a copy of a patient's wishes on file. Unlike the Will and Power of Attorney, which we believe everyone should have, the Health Care Declaration is entirely a matter of personal choice and conscience. We do have forms available which have been approved by certain churches, for those with religious concerns.
These estate planning documents are prepared, in most cases, on a flat fee basis, depending upon their complexity.