Do you have a plan in place to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your family?
Our firm focuses on helping injured people get the compensation they deserve so they can recover without worry after an accident. Seeing the toll injuries take on families and loved ones has made us realize the importance of educating individuals on how they can help protect themselves and their family in the extreme unfortunate event of a catastrophic injury.
We understand that thinking about a worst-case scenario, like a catastrophic injury, is not easy. We feel that’s why we must discuss it. My job as an injury lawyer isn’t to take the easy way out but to educate you now and be here to help when you need it most.
So are you prepared?
There are steps you and your loved ones can take today in order to be prepared for an unexpected catastrophe.
First, making sure you have proper (and adequate insurance coverages) such as Liability Coverage, Underinsured Motorist Coverage (to protect you if the driver & vehicle who hits you does not have enough coverage), Life Insurance, Umbrella policies and/or other insurance policies to help protect your interests. **We would recommend you talking with your insurance agent & insurance company about how you & your family can be best protected.** Without adequate insurance coverage available an injury attorney may not be able to get the complete compensation you deserve for your injury.
Secondly, having proper legal documents in place can take a toll off of your loved ones if you become incapacitated or incompetent to handle your medical or day-to-day affairs for a period of time.
What legal documents can help your family and loved ones if you’re involved in a catastrophic accident?
Durable Power of Attorney
If a debilitating illness or injury prevents you from taking care of personal, business, or financial matters, who will be able to act on your behalf? Through a Durable Power of Attorney, you can designate a person or persons to act for you in handling these matters should you become debilitated. Your designated “Agent” will be able to do things like pay bills, do your banking, and deal with your insurance company on your behalf. Just having a standard Power of Attorney will not allow your Agent to help if you have a debilitating illness or injury. In South Carolina, a Durable Power of Attorney must be filed with the Clerk of Court to have proper effect.
Healthcare Power of Attorney & Living Will
A Healthcare Power of Attorney allows you to appoint an agent to communicate on behalf of the sick or injured person, preventing unwanted treatment or making necessary decisions in the event that the individual is unable to do so.
A Living Will is “a written statement detailing a person's desires regarding their medical treatment in circumstances in which they are no longer able to express informed consent, especially an advance directive.”. Basically, a living will allows people who become unable to make their own decisions -- exercise their beliefs and wishes regarding medical procedures. This document can be thought of as an outline, telling your Agent name in your Healthcare Power of Attorney what treatments you may or may not want if you were able to speak for yourself.
In the event of your death, a Last Will & Testament, it protects your wishes by allowing you to do such things as designate who will receive what property you own (your beneficiaries), who will be in charge of your estate (the Personal Representative), and who will raise your minor children (the Guardian). If you do not have a Will, upon your death, a Court will decide these important issues by applying South Carolina law. Having a will makes sure that your wishes are kept, not what is the default law in South Carolina.
According to Caring.com, a 2017 poll showed that more than half of adult Americans do not have a will or estate plan in place, leaving only 42 percent with a plan for their future. This means that only 4 out of 10 Americans have a will. It is especially important for parents with children under 18 to have a will with guardians put in place, yet only 36 percent of parents with dependent children have a will in place.
If you need assistance with these documents our firm offers a $500.00 Will Packet, including a Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney & Living Will, and a Simple Will. Although our firm focuses on representing those of have been injured, we are committed to helping individuals throughout our community be prepared for the worst case scenario and are here to help when needed.
Please do not hesitate to Call or Text us at any time (803) 571-0039. Attorney Wil Alexander is always happy to answer any questions you may have.
**This blog post is not nor is it intended to be legal advice -- should you have any legal questions please contact an attorney of your choosing. Please keep in mind that these are overviews of documents that may help you & your family and the actual documents are much more detailed and should be talked to in detail with an attorney of your choosing. Law Office of William H. Alexander, LLC - Attorney Wil Alexander - Barnwell, SC 29812**
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Attorney Wil Alexander wants to keep you up to date with new legal developments and other news. Please be advised these blog posts do not constitute legal advice and you should always consult a lawyer with your legal questions.