It's easier than you think to plan for the future. We are here to help you in that process. Many disputes in the estate context arise from either the lack of an estate plan, or the lack of a realistic or updated estate plan.
Powers of attorney delegate authority to people you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself. These documents aid in instances of incapacity, or when you may be out of town or out of the country for extended periods of time. Having a power of attorney in place can prevent the need for expensive court proceedings upon your incapacity.
Advanced directives can apply to several situations, but generally are what they sound like: directions in advance. They can apply to end of life care ("Living Wills") as well as to funeral service plans. Don't leave your family guessing about your wishes in critical situations.
Wills dispose of your property upon your death, and writing one will prevent the otherwise automatic framework of state laws from applying. There's no need to let the General Assembly decide who receives your property, as people are known to disagree with even the best intentions of politicians from time to time. Call and find out how your current estate plan (or lack thereof) would look "in action" if you died tomorrow - the result may surprise you.
Trusts are not appropriate in all circumstances, and Jones Collaborative Estates does not routinely advise clients to "always" use trusts. However, in certain circumstances they are unquestionably amazing planning tools for navigating issues surrounding incapacity, disability, tax concerns, unique family dynamics (such as substance abusers and spendthrifts), generational planning (educational gifts for grandchildren) and the avoidance of probate administration.