No doubt you have a lot on your mind while turning this page in life. There are a lot of steps in order for this transition to go smoothly. Have you considered reviewing you or your loved one’s Estate Planning documents as one of the crucial steps in this transition? If not, maybe it’s time to re-consider.
Often times you or your loved one may have had an Estate Plan or Will drafted years ago. Those documents likely reflected your wishes and met your needs at the time. Moving forward time passes things change and what was once a current Estate Plan may no longer fill the need or reflect current wishes. Not only that, failure to review now can prove to be both stressful and costly later.
Consider the example of Doris and Harry, a married couple of 50 years. When they did their Estate Planning, Doris made Harry her Agent in her Durable Power of Attorney. Several years later, Doris was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She eventually had to transition to an Assisted Living Facility. Having previously signed a Durable Power of Attorney as part of her Estate Plan, her family thought that everything was properly in place. Shortly after Doris settled into the Assisted Living Facility Harry became ill and passed away.
What a review of their Estate Plan would have revealed, was that Doris’ Power of Attorney did not name a successor Agent. Therefore, when Harry passed away there was no one legally able to handle Doris’ affairs. Suffering from late stage Alzheimer’s, Doris was unable to appoint a new Agent. The children had to go through the “Living Probate” process: the lengthy and costly process where the court is petitioned to appoint a Conservator and Guardian in order to handle Doris’ living and financial matters for her. In this case Doris’ children were appointed by the court to handle their mother’s affairs. In some cases however, County Conservators and Guardian’s are appointed, leaving the children and other family members powerless to assist.
Taking the time now to meet with an experienced Estate Planning attorney can help you review the documents you currently have in place, and ensure that they withstand the “worst case scenario” test before you find yourself in it!
Robert M. Goldberg & Associates has specialized in Elder Law and Estate Planning for 14+ years and has helped over 2,000 families prepare for the worst.
We have offices located in Atlanta, Peachtree City, and Griffin. If you would like to check off another step in this transition process please
call Laura at 770-229-5729 and set up an Estate Plan review today!