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Elder Law FAQs

Can my executor sign my name if I am sick?
No.  An executor only has authority after you die.  This is because in a will, a testator/testatrix (i.e. you) provides instruction as to who shall serve as executor (i.e. personal representative) to settle the estate and how assets will be distributed.  A power of attorney, not a will, is used to provide assistance, such as signing documents for you, while you are alive, but sick.

How can I avoid going to court?
To stay in control of your assets and avoid court interference as much as possible, you should have a strong, up-to-date estate plan in place.  This includes having an executed will, health care power of attorney, and a financial power of attorney.  Unsigned or incomplete documents do not help – be sure you finalize things. Let your family know that you’ve done estate planning, where you’ve stored your documents, and who to contact (i.e. the attorney that helped prepare your documents) should you become incapacitated or die. 

Will my revocable living trust protect my assets from the nursing home?
No.  While your trust can be used to provide asset protection for your beneficiaries after you die, it cannot be used to protect your own assets during your lifetime.  You need Medicaid planning to protect assets from the nursing home.

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