When most people think of estate planning, they think of creating wills and trusts in order to pass down assets upon death. However, effective estate planning involves much more than just distributing your assets upon death. It should also address many other important issues such as end of life care and funeral and burial wishes.
You hope the day will never come when you are on life support or incapacitated and are unable to make decisions for yourself. But if that day does come, conflict and emotional turmoil could arise among your family members as they try to figure out the right thing to do. That is, unless you have the right documents in place.
There was no subject that was off-limits for the late comedienne Joan Rivers. She even joked about getting older and death. In the months leading up to her passing earlier this month, she would often joke about losing her memory. In a recent tweet she quipped: “I must admit I am nervous about getting Alzheimer’s. Once it hits, I might tell my best joke and never know it.”
The unfortunate reality is that excuses abound when it comes to executing an estate plan. Indeed, statistics show that over 50 percent of the population here in the U.S. has not taken a single step in this regard, with people frequently citing the same excuses such as their age, their lack of assets, or their lack of time.
Many people are put off by the idea of executing a complex and expensive estate plan, but the good news is that most people don't need one. Instead, a basic estate plan will suffice for the majority of Massachusetts residents.
Designating an attorney-in-fact can require the utmost caution to keep a person’s finances protected. Allotting the power of attorney can be both fulfilling and beneficial by giving individuals peace in knowing that their finances are being utilized for the exact purposes they wish. Unfortunately, some individuals seek to find ways to access and misuse the funds.
Conservatorships are sometimes necessary to safeguard the interests of a family member who no longer has the capacity to make their own financial or medical decisions. When there is no power of attorney in place, or a power of attorney is not being honored, a conservatorship may be in order.
To a remarkable agree, this has become the Age of the Caregiver. With an aging population and the high cost of professional nursing care, the percentage of American adults who take care of someone with a significant health problem has gone up from 30 percent to almost 40 percent in just the last three years.
It isn't easy for a child to watch a parent getting old. For many families, a tipping point can come when the roles get reversed: parents, who once provided the care, are now in need of it themselves.
The start of the year is a time often associated with taking financial stock. As one prepares for tax season and begins budgeting for the year, January and February provide an ideal period of time for managing a variety of personal financial obligations. One step that you should not skip is creating or updating your estate plan.