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Protect yourself and your interests by preparing your end-of-life documentation before the onset of illness or physical trauma that could leave you medically unsound.
A Will controls who receives your property either outright or in a trust. But if you don’t have a Will, Kentucky’s Statute of Descent and Distribution will prescribe the method in which your property is passed on to your heirs. This could be contrary to your wishes if you have a right of survivorship with your spouse or have children from past marriages. If there are a lot of assets and complications it is not a good idea to devise your own Will without legal advice. If you make a mistake, it could cause all kinds of unforeseen problems for your heirs or loved ones.
By Kentucky law, a competent person has the right to declare that no life-prolonging or heroic measures are to be used to postpone death. A Living Will provides guidance and specifics to medical staff and family members on whether or not you want ventilation, hydration, a feeding tube or to reject any efforts on your behalf.
A Power of Attorney is a document used to delegate legal authority to another person to make property, financial, and other legal decisions on your behalf. In the event that you are disabled or otherwise incapacitated to the point that you are unable to carry out your personal affairs, you have identified the person you prefer to take care of those matters. Without a Power of Attorney, not even your spouse can make legal decisions on your behalf and requires them to petition Disability Court, carry out medical exams to determine your competency, and go through a jury trial.
There are several types of Trusts created for a myriad of situations but the most common is a Living Trust. A Living Trust is a legal document that communicates your decisions for what will happen to your assets after your death. It helps you avoid the cost, public disclosure, and the possible 6-month to 12-month process of probate by having everything owned by the Trust instead of you and/or your spouse. Unlike a Will, there is nothing for the court to control upon your death or if you become incapacitated and your assets can be quickly distributed to your beneficiaries.