Wills and Estate Planning

The Last Will and Testament, a health care power of attorney, and a durable power of attorney are three instruments that comprise a simple estate plan. 

The Last Will and Testament

The Will is the instrument whereby an individual specifies the manner in which her or his property should be distributed to beneficiaries or heirs upon death.  A Will also may contain provisions concerning the guardianship of minor children the payment of taxes, and other matters.   The decision to make a Will is, of course, very personal, and should be done with care and with consultation with trusted legal counsel.

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Disability Planning

A durable power of attorney is an instrument that gives authority to an agent when the maker of the power becomes incapacitated. A durable power of attorney also allows an agent to handle the financial, business, and other affairs of the principal or person who is the maker of the power.   The durable power of attorney is effective once signed and continues despite the disability or incapacity of the maker of the power. A durable power of attorney is a substitute for a court-appointed guardian or conservator.

A health care power of attorney can be used to plan for a medical incapacity and grants authority to a person to make health care decisions on your behalf in the event that you are unable to do so.

Together, these instruments provide direction for a spouse or other person who may be required to handle the affairs of a loved one.  The Law Office of Melvin O. Shaw, P.L.C. is available to assist clients with estate planning questions and may be reached at (319) 337-7429 or law@melvinshaw.com.


This summary is intended to provide general information only and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Each person should obtain a detailed, specific analysis of their own personal needs.

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