Estate Planning: Logan and Tara’s Story
Logan Rause was a young, healthy, and outgoing 28 year-old who had a bright outlook on his future. He had just landed an amazing new job as a Project Manager for a local construction company, purchased a brand new house in his new city of Austin, and married his long-time girlfriend, Tara, after six wonderful years of dating. Logan couldn’t have been happier–everything seemed to have been going right for him, and he was so excited to see what the future held for him and his new wife. That was until that fateful day in March 2022.
What started like any other day for Logan ended in tragedy for the newlywed couple. He started that morning as he did every other day–he woke up at 5 A.M. and made breakfast for himself and for Tara, leaving her plate on the nightstand for her since she wouldn’t have to be awake for another hour or so, then gave her a kiss on the cheek and left to go to work. Half-asleep and eyes still closed, Tara always gave Logan a faint smile when he gave her her daily goodbye kiss–reassuring one another that they would see each other later. Tara had no idea that just 4 short hours later, she would receive a phone call from Logan’s boss that her new husband was in a coma and would likely never wake up.
March 23rd, 2022: The Incident
Logan was leading his team in the construction of a new, 20-story hotel in downtown Austin when he fell from the 8th story window. One of the crewmen had left loose piping materials on the floor that were hidden by a large tarp, causing Logan to trip, lose his footing, and fall over 75-feet to the ground below. He was unresponsive, unconscious, and immediately taken to the emergency room. His doctors diagnosed him with a severe, traumatic brain injury and said that his prognosis was very poor–Logan would never make a full recovery and would never be able to speak, walk, eat, or otherwise take care of himself independently again.
Tara’s life changed completely within what felt like seconds–one minute she was eating the breakfast Logan made for her that morning, and now she was staring at his seemingly lifeless body in a hospital bed, surrounded by beeping machines and covered in wires and tubes–the only things that were keeping him alive at that point.
Being the young and healthy man that he was, Logan never thought to have something like a Durable Medical Power of Attorney (“POA”) in place. Why would someone as young and fit as he was need any kind of future-needs planning so early on? Having no documents or other plan in place, there was no way for Tara to take care of their finances–Logan was in charge of maintaining the bank accounts and paying all of the bills, leaving Tara with little to no knowledge about their financial situation entirely. Because Logan had not executed a Durable POA while he was still competent, Tara could not immediately step in to make financial and medical decisions for Logan on his behalf. Instead, she had to go through an entire Guardianship proceeding that took over six months to finalize. Because she could not access most of their bank accounts during this time, Tara fell behind on mortgage payments, car payments, and ultimately had to sell the brand new house Logan had built them just before the incident.
Why You Need Estate Planning Now
Unfortunately, accidents occur every day that are beyond our control and are simply not preventable. The one thing that is within your control are the legal documents you have in place should the unexpected happen. By executing a Durable Power of Attorney (POA) while you have the legal capacity to do so, your medical and/or financial decision-making will be handled by person whom you chose to appoint as your Agent in your Durable POA in the event that you become incapacitated or otherwise unable to make such decisions for yourself.
A person who is already incapacitated cannot sign a Durable POA–this is why it is crucial for you to execute your Durable POA before you become incapacitated or otherwise unable to make financial and medical decisions for yourself. Your family members will not have to go through a lengthy Guardianship proceeding, and your decision-making will be handled by the trusted person whom you chose to appoint as your Agent in your Durable POA documents.
Invitation from Springdale Law Group
Contact an experienced Estate Planning Attorney to create a plan that provides for your minor children’s care in the event of your unexpected death or incapacity. As a comprehensive estate planning firm, Springdale Law Group is proud to provide this essential service to individuals, and will always ensure that you and your family are taken care of through your estate planning documents. Our team is fluent in English, Chinese, and Spanish and can assist with Estate Planning in all 50 states. Don’t leave your own future to chance.