Over the last century, our life-spans have lengthened due to the accessibility of healthcare, research about diets and longevity, and the implementation of safety measures in products, automobiles, and the workplace. In addition to these, the field of medicine has performed "miracles,” using state-of-the-art technology to restore quality of life and longevity to patients who otherwise wouldn’t have made it.
The debate over these measures is often divisive and bitter. When it comes down to it, each individual has different wishes as to whether heroic measures should be taken to prolong his or her life in certain circumstances. Because of this, legislatures across the country have enacted laws that allow an individual more control over the end of life, letting them officially deny or approve the use of specific procedures in a living will.
Many people, elderly or not, become incapacitated and cannot communicate sound decisions about the most important matters: life and death. The new laws provide for execution of "living wills.” Living wills are documents you prepare in advance that define the parameters of what can and cannot be done to you medically (for example, Do Not Resuscitate orders) in an emergency; some also designate a trusted person to make decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated.
Given my extensive experience in estate planning, I can help you express your wishes clearly in a living will with minimal time and cost. This ensures that any judgement call made about prolonging your life aligns with your true intentions versus being the result of guesswork.
Other types of wills include:
Last Will & Testament
Historically the term "will" related to real estate and the "testament" related to personal property.
These are hand-written wills. The handwriting of the testator provides evidence of authenticity, and some of the technical requirements, such as signature, are waived.
Self-probating or self-proving wills
These contain affidavits of witnesses and are executed before an office authorized to administer oaths. They are put in place to avoid Probate.
For an uncomplicated estate, a sample form can be completed by the testator. However, without knowledge of Kentucky law, it is easy to make regrettable mistakes.
At death, property is transferred automatically to a trust, to avoid probate.
Two persons leave all property to each other. A joint will also directs how the assets will be distributed when the second person dies.
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In my more than 30 years in law practice I have served thousands of clients in south central Kentucky. Contact me for an initial consultation. I offer you a mutually-beneficial and long lasting professional relationship.