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GALLAGHER LAW, P.C.
When many people hear the term estate planning, they think it refers only to the distribution of assets after death. That is part of it of course, but effective estate planning can address important issues during one's lifetime, and in end-of-life situations.
For example, a well designed estate plan will ensure that a person of your choosing can make medical and financial decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
If you don't have an estate plan, someone will petition the court to gain control over your medical care and assets. This could very well be a person who you would not want making important decisions on your behalf.
This allows you to specify “who gets what” when you pass away. Without your own Last Will and Testament, your assets will be distributed according to state guidelines. A Will also allows you to name guardians for your minor children. This is important because if something happens to you and your spouse, the state will decide who will have legal authority over your minor children. This could very well be a person or institution you would never have chosen to have such authority.