Are Your ‘Living Estate Planning Documents’ in Order?

Disability planningThese are documents that everyone over the age of seventeen needs in order for your loved one to assist you no matter what your future has in store for you.

Estate planning attorneys advise you to make your estate plan for any situation that might arise.  Therefore, a good estate planning attorney will guide their clients through myriad “what-if’s” that may or may not occur many years in the future. If you get hit by a bus, you might die or you might not, so you need a portfolio of ‘living documents.’ In addition to a will and/or a trust, the documents should include the following:

Power of Attorney. Signing this document means that you give a trusted agent the power to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated. You can also create two separate powers of attorney: one that gives authority to a business partner to make decisions concerning your farm or company; and one naming a spouse or family member to handle your personal finances.

Living Will. This document states your intent that, under certain circumstances, you want medical efforts to be withheld or withdrawn and that you want to be allowed to die naturally with only medication and procedures necessary for comfort and to alleviate pain. A living will can reduce some of the stress and burden from family members, in the event that they have to make an end-of-life decision.

Advance Medical Directives. In Virginia, this set of documents refers to the Healthcare Power of Attorney, the Living Will and the HIPAA release.  It might be one document, but we do not recommend this format because of the diversity of intentions each document expresses.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Release. When a loved one or agent needs to access your otherwise private medical records, he or she needs to have your HIPAA release that authorizes him or her to have access to your medical records. This eliminates any bureaucratic red tape or delay if someone needs to make healthcare decisions.

This set of documents is critical to creating a comprehensive plan and to prevent unneeded stress on your family.  We have made the process of requesting a complimentary consultation to discuss the planning needed to navigate the issues you will face as easy as possible.  We can help.

Reference: AgPro (November 21, 2016) “4 Estate Planning Documents You Need Beyond a Will”


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We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.