Planning for Your Future - Protect Yourself Legally

Dated: 09/10/2018

Views: 90

As a retired estate planning attorney and the child of parents who went thru the estate planning process from beginning to end,  I have seen the value in proper planning.   Our lives, our finances, our health and our taxes have become so much more complicated in the last half century.   Having a detailed plan in place can save you not only money, but heartache and struggle for your heirs and beneficiaries.  

A key document that will serve you during periods of disability is the Durable (financial) Power of Attorney.   The only way a trusted family member or friend can get access to your financial accounts for your benefit, if you are incapacitated,  is with a Durable Power of Attorney.     A qualified estate planning attorney can prepare this for you.   You will also want to check with your brokerage, bank and other financial institutions where you hold accounts.   If they have a customized form, you will want to make sure you have that in place in advance.  

You may ask, what happens if I don’t have this in place?   If you have nothing else in place and have resources or assets available to support you in the case of disability, you will have to go thru a court proceeding to have someone appointed as your legal guardian.    This of course involves some expense and is a public forum.   The court will want to stay involved throughout the process and there is no guarantee that the person the court appoints is someone that you would have chosen.   The Durable Power of Attorney is a relatively inexpensive document to prepare and as mentioned above, you may need to use an otherwise free form that is already prepared by your financial institution(s).   However, I would recommend that you have a Durable Power of Attorney that is not institution specific as a back-up for miscellaneous issues that arise.  The State of Indiana does have a statutory Durable Power of Attorney that can be used; however, I recommend that you sit down with an attorney to prepare it, review it and explain it to you before signing.   The fee should be nominal.  The privacy and savings compared to a legal guardianship proceeding is significant. 

There are other planning documents that complement the Durable (financial) Power of Attorney.   I will be talking more about those in the coming weeks.

Call me, Lesa Miller, at (812) 360-3863 if you would like to know more.   Although I am not in a position to give you legal advice, I can certainly point you in the right direction.   Today is a good day to get started.

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Lesa Miller

Over the past several years we have had the privilege of working with some amazing clients who were strangers when we met, but who we now consider friends. We are grateful for every opportunity we hav....

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As a retired estate planning attorney and the child of parents who went thru the estate planning process from beginning to end,  I have seen the value in proper planning.   Our lives,

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