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Estate Planning

This section is being expanded. We could have written hundreds of pages on estate planning. In fact, there are many books currently on the market, and your attorney, financial advisor, estate planner, accountant, etc., can provide you with a great deal more information than is covered here. We have just chosen to cover a few of the subjects that seem to be at the forefront of seniors’ concerns right now.

It is important to have a basic estate plan in place.

This plan should include:

  • A will and a living will or medical power of attorney
  • An assignment of power of attorney
  • In some cases a trust (check with your attorney)
  • A list of all your assets and where they are
  • See bottom of this page for questionnaire
  • A discussion with your attorney involving whom do you want to inherit various assets.
  • Whom do you want handling your affairs if you are unable to act yourself?
  • Whom do you want making medical decisions if you are unable to act yourself?
  • How do you want your assets distributed?
  • Do you want to name a guardian for your children?
 For additional information and to find a local estate planning provider click here.

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If you are interested in locating an elder law attorney near where you live go to www.naela.org and click on "locate an elder law attorney" near where you live.

To reach a list of attorneys specializing in estate planning, go to the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel’s Web site, http://www.actec.org/public/roster/search.asp.

The American Bar Association Website, offers the following advice:

When asked, “Should I give a member of my family a power of attorney?” the following answer is provided: “There is no easy answer to this question. You could be creating a difficult situation for your family and heirs. You could also be solving a number of problems.
 
Your attorney should be able to give you guidelines to follow however it is usually best to get your children and heirs to approve these plans ahead of time. However it is important to ‘spell out’ what you want ahead of time. This approach generally avoids at least some of problems (and suits) that could result. Remember the power of attorney covers your finances but you also need a document that covers your health care decisions if you are unable to act for yourself. A medical power of attorney can help, but each state has different laws and regulations governing what can and can’t be done.
Copyright 2014 by Retired Brains