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Do I need a Power of Attorney and a Health Care Proxy?
These forms allow you to choose who will handle your financial affairs and health related decisions if you become incapacitated. Each state has its own Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy forms. The forms have a place for your name and address and the name and address of your primary “agent”. We suggest that you also name an alternate “agent” in case the primary agent cannot serve. The Power of Attorney form authorizes the agent to manage your assets, cash checks, pay bills, and sign pertinent forms on your behalf. The Health Care Proxy authorizes the agent to make health care decisions on your behalf, after consulting with your physician, regarding courses of treatment, medications, hospital stays, and the like. You can elect to give the agent the ability to make “life sustaining” treatment decisions. As with your will, we suggest using a lawyer to prepare these forms so that the state specific form provisions and execution requirements are satisfied.
What is the Surrogate Judge’s role in the process?
The Judge will make sure: (i) that the probate petition and related documents are all in order; (ii) that the will was properly executed with at least two disinterested witnesses, (iii) that the decedent was legally competent when he or she signed the will, and (iv) that the decedent was not improperly influenced into signing the will. After all this, the Surrogate Judge will issue “Letters Testamentary” – a certificate that the Executor can use to start marshalling and managing the decedent’s assets. Without this certificate, the Executor is unable to take action.
Do You Have Enough Uninsured Motorist Insurance?
Auto accidents involving drivers with no insurance or too little insurance are common. Victims of these accidents are often shocked to learn that they will recover little, if any, money for their injuries and losses. Fortunately, there is an inexpensive way for most people to avoid this tragic situation by having enough uninsured and underinsured motorists insurance. Here is a brief explanation of each.
* Uninsured motorists insurance. This protects you in the event a person who causes an accident and injures you has no insurance or is a hit-and-run driver. It lets you collect money from your own insurance company for your injuries and losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, and money for pain and suffering.
To benefit from this valuable protection, you must have it as part of your auto insurance policy.
Uninsured motorists insurance can be one of the best auto coverages you buy, as it provides a great deal ofprotection and usually at a low cost.
* Underinsured motorists insurance. This protects you in the event a driver injures you and does not have enough insurance to pay for all your injuries and losses. For example, he or she may carry only the minimum amount of insurance required by law, but it may not be enough to cover all your injuries and losses. Your underinsured motorists insurance will protect you so that you will be fully compensated for your injuries and losses (up to the amount of your coverage).
Underinsured motorists insurance also must be part of your own auto insurance policy. It is also usually inexpensive. You should immediately review your auto insurance policies to make sure you have enough uninsured and underinsured motorists insurance. These types of insurance can make the difference between recovering money for all your injuries and losses in the event of a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. If you have any questions about these or other auto coverages, contact your lawyer.
The probate process – the process through which a person named as Executor in a will is authorized by the Surrogate Judge to assume his or her duties. What are some of the duties of an Executor?
The first thing an Executor must do is identify what assets a decedent owned and take steps to protect them. For example, if a decedent owned a house, the Executor should secure the home and protect any valuables located in the home. I suggest that the Executor change the locks on the doors, activate the home security system (if any), and prepare a list and take pictures of the contents of the house. Also, any cars should be taken off the road, locked and put in the garage if possible.
From Battisti & Garzo, PC
What can I expect from Battisti & Garzo, PC as my legal representation?
The attorneys at Battisti & Garzo , P.C. offer a wide range of legal experience that will benefit you as we handle your case. Our defense team is prompt, professional, and knowledgeable: We are dedicated to protecting your legal rights, and we will personally see your case through to the end. We pride ourselves on the fact that you will always be kept up-to-date on the status and resolution of your case. Call us today to schedule a free office consultation.