Welcome to the Kazi Law Firm! We are a boutique law firm steeped in Texas tradition personifying the warmth and congeniality consistent with southern hospitality. We believe in preserving integrity and professionalism with true Texan charm, staying true to our roots, while providing essential, affordable legal services to all. Located just north of Dallas, Texas in the rapidly growing suburb of Frisco; the Kazi Law Firm concentrates on contracts drafting and review, immigration law, will & estates, real estate law, landlord, tenant, mediation, and general business law needs.
If the year 2020 has taught has anything it is to live in the moment and appreciate our friends, family, and quality of life. We have witnessed first hand that life as we know it is fragile and that tomorrow is not guaranteed. Covid-19 has shown us to expect the unexpected! Never did we think that a pandemic could rock the nation, destabilizing economies and communities around the globe. I believe, now, more than ever, estate planning is crucial to prepare for the future. Today, I’m going to talk about basic estate planning documents that every adult should have drafted by an experienced Wills and Estates Attorney.
WHAT ESTATE PLANNING DOCUMENTS DO I NEED?
There are five basic estate planning documents that every adult in Texas should have. This is because proper estate planning covers not only what should happen to your estate when you die, but also what happens to you and your estate if you become disabled or incapacitated before you die.
- Last Will & Testament – A legal document that spells out who will inherit people’s property when they die. The people who inherit your property are called beneficiaries. In this same document, you can name an executor who is the person you trust to manage the distribution of your property to the beneficiaries. The executor can also be one of the beneficiaries if you like.
- Statutory Durable Power of Attorney – A power of attorney allows someone you trust to make financial decisions for you when you are not able to do so yourself.
- Medical Power of Attorney – A medical power of attorney authorizes someone you trust to make medical decisions for you if you were to ever become ill and unable to communicate with your doctor.
- Living Will – A living will instructs your physician as to whether or not you would want to receive life-sustaining treatments if you were to become extremely ill and unable to communicate.
- HIPAA Authorization – A HIPAA Authorization allows doctors’ offices and insurance companies to share your personal health care information with someone you trust, including family members.
- Guardianship Designation – Document that appoints a guardian for any minor children you have. It also can give instructions to the court system that will save your loved one’s precious time and money when they may need it the most.
Why Do I Need a Living Will?
If you were to ever become incapacitated and diagnosed with a terminal illness or irreversible condition, a living will gives you the ability to instruct your physicians to administer, withdraw or withhold medical treatments to extend your life indefinitely. This allows you to make sure your wishes are followed. It likewise removes the terrible burden of having to make those decisions for you from family members, and it helps prevent possible conflicts among family members who may not agree on what should be done.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A LIVING WILL AND A MEDICAL POWER OF ATTORNEY?
A living will only concerns situations where you are terminally ill or have an irreversible condition and you are unable to communicate whether or not you would like life-sustaining treatments to be continued. A medical power of attorney is much broader, because it covers all healthcare decisions for you, whether or not you are suffering from a terminal condition or have an irreversible condition.
SHOULD I HAVE BOTH A LIVING WILL AND A MEDICAL POWER OF ATTORNEY?
Depending on how your medical power of attorney is written, there may or may not be some overlap between the two documents. However, if you were to become terminally ill and unable to speak for yourself then it would be best for you to have your desires concerning life-sustaining treatments for yourself clearly spelled out in a living will.
WHEN DOES A LIVING WILL BECOME EFFECTIVE?
Assuming the document is executed properly, a living will becomes effective when two things happen. First, your physician must certify that you have a terminal illness or irreversible condition. Second, you must not be competent to make health care decisions. This means you lack the ability to understand and appreciate the nature and consequences of a treatment decision.
It is essential to plan for the future and contact an experienced probate attorney to assist you in drafting your estate planning documents. There is no excuse to not have your affairs in order. Why would you want to burden your loved ones with difficult, end-of-life decisions, when you don’t have to?
I built my law practice on the premise of being a life raft in a sea of sharks. I want to be an advocate for those that have been wronged and are too intimidated to seek help. My firm is here to explore your options, guide you through your legal journey, and give you that safe space to ask questions! There’s no such thing as a stupid question…Only the ones you don’t ask. So, my question to my clients is not “do you have any questions?” But rather “what questions do you have?”
As always, the Kazi Law Firm is standing by to help you in your time of need. Don’t hesitate to contact us today. We specialize in real estate law, landlord-tenant disputes, immigration, and wills & estate planning. Family is at the core of our practice. Just as we treat our family with respect and understanding, we treat yours. Come join the Kazi Law Firm family today!
Why swim alone in shark-infested waters when you don’t need to?