Choose Well with Durable Power of Attorney-Finance

Older adults need to share details of their finances with children or agents who have Durable Power of Attorney-Financial to protect their estates in the case of a disability or illness.

Samuel had done a lot of things right to live comfortably in assisted living. He worked nearly 40 years at a steady job, saved something from every paycheck by living a bit below his means, and spent money prudently. Sam was proud of the fact that he and his wife, Shirley, raised three children in a tidy and comfortable home that was full of good times and family memories.

But Sam also could tell that he didn’t have the same grasp of personal finance that Shirley had, a situation that caused him some anxiety since she passed two years ago. Thanks to the sale of their home and frugal nature, the estate had reached the $750,000 mark with investments in mutual funds and an annuity that he didn’t understand fully. Even the basic routine of paying bills by check became something he loathed.

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Making Tough Choices for Healthcare and End-of-Life Treatment

An individual should consider carefully who he or she asks to act as Patient Advocate.

Joseph and Frances were in their late 70s and thoroughly enjoying retirement and good health, but they also were reminded from personal experience that they wouldn’t live forever. During the past 10 years, the married couple had visited family and friends who were hospitalized for various illnesses, and they had attended more than their fair share of funerals.

Joe had named Franny as his Patient Advocate through a Durable Power of Attorney-Healthcare, and vice versa for Franny, so they knew they were protected for any immediate needs. But Joe was beginning to notice that Franny had become uncertain with her day-to-day decision making. Joe wondered aloud if she could make medical decisions for him if necessary, and he seriously doubted whether she could truly “pull the plug” if he fell into a coma or vegetative state -- which was his wish.

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Life Series V: Wills Need to be Revisited as Life Changes

Adults should review their wills every five years due to changes in life's situations.

Throughout their 20 years of marriage, Harry and Sally spent much of their time taking care of each other and then their three children as they arrived. But during the last two years, they also had to devote energy to caring for Harry’s father who eventually died from Alzheimer’s disease, and then administering the estate he left to the family.

Harry’s father hadn’t touched his will in 10 years -- even after Harry’s mother died -- so much of the document was outdated. Simple changes such as the addition of Harry and Sally’s third child weren’t made in the will, along with adjustments to the situation with Harry’s sister, who had gone through a divorce.

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Can a Younger Child Decide Which Parent to Live With?

The Court may take into consideration the preference of a minor child when it comes to which parent gets physical custody in a divorce proceeding.

Young Sarah was distressed that her parents were getting a divorce, and she did everything she could to try to bring them back together, including being on her best behavior with cleaning her room and doing chores. But when it was clear the divorce would happen, she was faced with the most unpleasant task of all -- deciding which parent she would live with.

Her parents were as conflicted as 12-year-old Sarah regarding the child’s permanent residence. Her father, Martin, thought she should live with him because he provided an even temperament and steady hand when it came to school and sports. Her mother, Molly, thought Sarah should live with her because she needed emotional support and nurturing, particularly during this stressful period in her life.

Read more: Can a Younger Child Decide Which Parent to Live With?

Mike Toburen - Attorney at Law   

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Attorney Mike Toburen

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