4 Key Documents (Part I)

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June 14, 2017

Here are 4 key documents that are necessary to have in place to help protect you and your estate. (Regardless of how much money you have or don’t have) We will discuss the first one today.

Property Power of Attorney – Who makes the decisions for you if you can’t make the decisions for yourself? I have often heard people saying something like. “We have been married for 50 years! I know what he / she wants. While this may be true, if you don’t have a person designated in writing as your attorney in fact (often referred to as power of attorney or POA) then the person you want to act for you may not be able to do so. This is one of the predominant issues that we encounter in our elder law practice. Most people have not done in estate planning at all, and if they even have a power of attorney, it is usually inadequate.

Another issue is competency. You must be competent to sign documents and understand what you are signing. It seems obvious if you think about it, but capacity is a slippery slope. When it’s gone, it is gone! Many people wait too late. We often have family members bring in a parent or spouse who no longer has the capacity to sign. In this case, it often requires a court ordered guardianship. In a guardianship proceeding, the Court will decide who makes your decisions for you. If you don’t designate your decision maker in writing while you are competent to do so, then you will have forfeited the right to choose.

Next week we will talk about the 2nd key document. In the meantime, we will be happy to mail you (free of charge) a recently recorded audio CD, labeled ‘4 Key Documents’. If you are an Arkansas resident, you may request this free audio CD, simply by sending an email to me at doug@arkelderlaw.com. In the email, make sure to leave your name and mailing address.

At ELP, we work to protect you!

We work with people to do various types of estate planning. There is no one size fits all plan and no plan is categorically better than others. The key is to meet with your attorney (hopefully us!) to discuss your unique situation and have a plan crafted that is best for you. If you or your declining parent is not 100% sure of their beneficiary designations, please be proactive and give us a call before you (or they) lose capacity.

Without a properly flexible plan, how will you care for your declining Loved One, be there for your family, get work done, and pivot in the event of a crisis? What about cost? How will you pay for it all? If you make the Assisted Living Facility choice, how long will the money last? Together, we can craft a proactive plan! Lets get started protecting your assets!

Arkansas Newsletter

If you (or someone you know) are from Arkansas and would benefit from more information like this, click the button below to sign up for our free Arkansas Newsletter by going to https://elp.legal/arknews.

ELP YouTube Channel

Speaking of trends, subscribe to our YouTube Channel. We have a few hundred videos there for your watching enjoyment. Videos are categorized by playlist. You should easily be able to find several videos that discuss exactly what you are looking for. The best part about this is not only is this some really good content, but it is free! There’s even a video specifically addressing Revocable Living Trusts!

Just click here to go to The Elder Law Practice You Tube Channel. Please remember to subscribe! When you click the notification bell, so you will be notified of our latest video launches. If you have video ideas, please type them in the comment box. Thanks for watching!

Disclaimer

We have covered some legal topics in this edition and as always, I want to emphasize that (1) the law is different in every state, so if you live in a state other than Arkansas, just know that the law may be totally different in your state; (2) your situation is unique, so one size doesn’t fit all – meaning what we discuss herein may not be right for you; (3) we have purposely over-simplified many of the topics above (otherwise this would be many pages long and unreadable because of all of the legalize). It is imperative that you meet with your attorney (hopefully us!) and get a plan that will work for you. Don’t try to plan based on what you read in this (or any) article AND don’t try to go it alone. Please consider this, get your questions answered and take action.

About the author 

Doug Jones

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