Written by Robert T. Nickerson
There's no doubt that the coronavirus is going to put a lot of things into perspective. Not only about the stores, economy and the job market, but primarily your well-being. This is when I would ask you about your estate plan. A lot of people will admit that they either don't have one or have been putting it off for a while. It's understandable that an estate plan may have the number six spot on your list of priorities, but now is a good time to really think about that. During a pandemic like this, it can really come in handy regarding medical decisions and your family in case the worst-case scenario happens.
Within an estate plan, one of the most important things to get is a healthcare directive. This will allow someone you trust to be appointed to make medical decisions in the event that your not able to. This is something that also needs to be looked at every couple of years; not just the proxy, but the person you have chosen. It could list a parent of yours to make the decisions, but you'll need to see if they can still make a reliable call. What if they too become sick during a pandemic? Then you better consider someone who doesn't live within your household; someone who's able to get to a hospital and make tough decisions.
This is why I'd recommend naming more then one person to be an acting agent, especially if your spouse or child fall ill the same time you do. It might even be helpful if multiple people are about to listen to the doctor to understand what's going on and what the next course of action is. A healthcare proxy will also come in handy if one person isn't available to make a decision, then another person selected can fill in the spot. Considering that travel is affected nationwide, this could be helpful for that reason.
An estate plan should also have a financial power of attorney. Not a lot of people think about this, but if your sick and aren’t able to keep up with your finances, then bill don't get paid and things like real estate or account alterations cannot happen at all…not unless an agent is named. While your free to make your decision on who, the person you've named on your healthcare proxy may not be the right one to handle your finances. Are they good with money? Do they have an understanding of your assents and your responsibilities? This is another reason you may want to have more then one person named. You even have the option to name different people for different parts of your finances.
The law offices of Jeffrey C. Nickerson can help guide your on these decisions. We're not going to let the COVID-19 slow us down from helping you. If you want to learn more about how an estate plan can help you and your family, especially during a crisis like this, click below the button to call us or send us an email.
Do you already have your estate plan created? Well good for you! You've taken an important step to ensure a calm mindset for the rest of your family when something should happen or the inevitability of your death. If you haven't, then I can tell you that it's never too late to make preparations. But either way, once you have those estate plans, where do you keep them?
Regardless if you had them created with me or someone else, any estate plan should have at least two things: a durable power of attorney that allows someone you've appointed to make legal decisions, and a will, which legally divides your assets to your choice. An estate plan size depends on case-by-case basis, but a trust is essential to avoid going through probate and to have a "management style" for how your estate (which includes the durable power of attorney and will). Especially during the time of the Covid-19 or Coronavirus, medical directives will give someone you trust the ability to make any medical decisions in case you cannot, so I recommend this as well. Once you have all the important documents gathered, it's time to put it someplace that’s safe, but also easy for your family to find.
Store the Documents
For your physical estate plan, it needs to be in a secure location that can be accessible for your family or representative. This is when we'd recommend a fireproof safe or a safe deposit box if your okay with someone other then you being able to access it. Whoever is assigned to be your executor should have access via key, code, or even a copy of it. A lot of law firms (including our own!) will not only keep the original documents and estate plans, but can also have a digital version of it (we can even make a digital copy for you!)
Spread the Word
With great power come great responsibilities. This isn't just a quote from Spider-Man, but also a key essential to your executor. They will need to know where your estate plan is, so be sure to let them know where your safe is in your home (or wherever your keep it. If its in a safety deposit box, it may be time to make that a joint account so that they can get into it.
If you have a healthcare proxy, then your physician can usually keep a copy of it to expedite your wishes faster. If you have family members in your estate plan, chances are you've already informed them about it. You may want to consider sending them copies of your estate plan so they too can expedite how the assets are distributed.
If you've created a new estate plan, be sure to destroy the old ones that are now void. This will prevent someone else to try and challenge it. The last thing you'd want is to go through a complicated litigation.
If you want to update those documents, DON'T WRITE ON THE ORIGINALS. This is when you get into contact with your attorney and they'll be able to update whatever you want. Anything that’s handwritten on the documents is always going to be seen by the courts as not valid.
The Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Nickerson can make sure you don't make those mistakes. Nothing has to be your fault! We can make sure your guided though the right steps for an estate plan that'll keep your wishes and have something for your family to turn to should something happen. Click on the button bellow to contact us for more information or a consultation meeting if your ready.
One of the biggest things that everyone is talking about is the new Netflix documentary series, The Tiger King. I obviously won't go into all the details of it, as it's simply better to see it for yourself. But the short version is that the focus is on two individuals; Joe Exotic, a big cat breeder and owner of a small zoo, and Carole Baskin, an animal rights activist and owner of a big cat sanctuary. There is a lot of legal ground to cover from the events such as ethical treatment of the animals, business practices and what constitutes a zoo. But I want to focus on one of the most remembered parts; the will that had come out after Carole Baskin's former husband, who was a multimillionaire, that entitled her to most of the estate.
Episode seven of the series went into more detail about the disappearance of Carole's second husband, Don Lewis. Many rumors have circulated about him being killed by Carole and having been fed to the tigers. I'm not here to talk about that odd situation, but what is stranger is the will. It's common for a will to name people that are designated heirs to an estate. They also include a power of attorney, which allows them to make legal decisions related to accounts that were included in wills. When the husband was declared legally missing, a Durable Family Power of Attorney was discovered by Carole that states, "Shall not be affected by any disability or Disappearance" and had named her to receive the majority of the assets. On top of that, the will had just been created not too long before Don was missing.
I can tell you that adding "disappearance" to a will is not common. A common estate plan will usually have something up in the case of death or medical incident, but a disappearance is covered within the terminology. It was also shown that even though the will was legally sound, the family of Don also had a will. This is usually the result on one not being aware of an earlier will, or worse, from the result of bad influence or fraud. I cannot stress the importance to remember checking to see how updated your will or estate plan is. It's possible they could have it changed without your knowledge.
The final result was the family of Don Lewis only receiving ten percent while Carole received the rest. I'm not sure what transpired between their attorneys, but this should be a lesson to understand that people that surround you or your family that concerns you. The Tiger King is a lesson on how not to have a will made up.
If you want an estate plan that'll set up your loved ones without the concern of an outside force, the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Nickerson can help with that. Click on the link below to know how to receive more information.
Written by Robert T. Nickerson
Things can happen during the COVID-19 outbreak. But things can also happen anytime. Were in a time of uncertainty where people aren't sure whats going to happen in the next months or years. I can promise you that we'll return to a state of normality sooner then you think. Though even with this or not, people still need to plan for the best and worst case scenario.
Thinking about your own health and eventual death can be hard and even upsetting. This is probably why a lot of people don't think about their estate plan until its too late. I'm gonna give you some good news and inform you that it's never too late to change that as long as your alive. It can take the COVID-19 to inspire you to make a plan, but things like marriage, caring for elderly parents, being parents to children or any other medical event can also encourage you to take action. Every person should have four of the following documents to ensure a mind at ease for anything.
1. A Will or Revocable Trust
During any critical crisis, it's important to know whose going to receive your assets. I'll tell you now that going through Probate is no picnic. It's a red tape process that makes asset acquiring very complicated and more so if someone in your family tries to challenge that. A lot of people with modest or small estates have a will. This mainly tells your loved ones who is going to receive some or all assets. Its something that also requires returning to every now and then to ensure the family situation has not changed and is up to date.
2. Beneficiary Designations on Financial Accounts
You need to know that a simple will may not cover all of your assets. What beneficiary designations do, especially for IRAs, 401(K) accounts or life insurance policies, is name a person who will manage those accounts in the event of something happening to the original holder of the account. More often then not, many people wait too late to have a beneficiary set in place, forcing a lot of complication, hence it'll be back to court for the family. Your financial institution usually has the forms to set up a beneficiary. Like a will, this also needs to be looked at every few years to confirm everything in your life is the same. What's worse then not knowing your money wont go to the people you want after you die?
3. Healthcare Durable Power of Attorney
During an outbreak, I know your concerned about getting care should something happen. Of course I'd recommend getting health insurance or being on one of many federal or state programs should you qualify for that. I can advise on that as well, but I specifically want to talk about a durable power of attorney. What this does is designate someone to make your medical decisions in the event you can't. Your healthcare provider should have the right documents to set up someone in place. This will make the process a lot smoother as long as you know already who will respect your wishes.
4. Financial Durable Power of Attorney
Like a Healthcare durable power of attorney, you can set up similar for your financial accounts. The difference between this and a beneficiary designation is that while that set up someone to take over accounts when you die, a financial durable power of attorney names one if your medically unable to make decisions. It also allows them to make financial decisions such as transferring accounts and making purchases. The rules in place can cater to whatever you want. You can set it up to only pay bills or go as far to make investments. The financial durable power of attorney needs to sign for someone who you can really trust.
Getting ready for the worst doesn't have to upsetting or even hard. Our law office can help set you up with the proxies, accounts and power of attorneys depending on your situation or estate. It's not just a privilege for the wealthy and anyone can get something set up. I can help guide you through it all. Contact our office for more information on what you can do and what we can do to make it easier.
Written by Robert T. Nickerson
This is certainly a trying time. The COVID-19 has not only set off a lot of health, financial, economic, and child issues, but it has also set in social distasting as the new normal. The sudden change in life is going to understandably cause a lot of confusion, fear and even pain. This has also forced a lot of families to become closer as we're more encouraged to stay home. You'd think it would get boring after a while, but since we live in an era of instant entertainment, along with the consistent Netflix and Disney Plus marathons, this should also open you up to a lot of free information… including what you can do to protect your family for the future.
Since you'll be home more often, now's a good time to ask yourself "When was the last time I cleaned my closet?" This means a lot of things. Your closet, attic, garage, or storage is going to be filled with a lot of stuff from your past, most of it being your families. With each spaced filled, this should make you grateful that you have this kind of space.
Along with literally "cleaning your closet", I also mean to do so with your legal documents. To be fair, a lot of families want to think about their loved ones but because of life, planning for that may not be that high on the priority list. The COVID-19 changes everything, including this. I want to ask you when was the last time you looked over your estate planning documents…or even if you've drawn up any at all.
It's okay to admit if you haven't done so yet. It's said that tragedy tends to be the biggest reminder of these kinds of things. I receive emails and calls inquiries for information during these times. The office got a lot of contact when Kobe Bryant was killed in the unfortunate accident. The new outbreak will make a lot of people think about their current situation not just for themselves, but for their elderly parents who are at most risk.
At minimum, everyone should have a last will and testament, a power of attorney and a health care proxy. This is to ensure who will make medical decisions, legal decisions if the person in question cannot, and most importantly, how their estate will be divided. Without a will and testament, the state laws will determine how one's assets will be split. If you have children, then a judge would make the decision of who they'd live with.
Having an estate plan in place can prevent the state and government from making those choices. Having a power of attorney will set someone in place to make legal decisions should you be too ill to do so. This would include filling taxes, banking, buying and selling real estate, and even applying for government benefits. A health care proxy will let someone of your choice make medical decisions for you, including end of life if needed.
As an estate planning attorney, I've a lot of experience in dealing with questions about the future, even within circumstances like COVID-19. My office is open with a limited staff and surfaces that are consistently cleaned. We even have hand sanitizer for your safety. If your worried, we can also arrange remote meetings through email, phone, Skype or however you want to proceed. We can help "clean your closet" and keep it clean well after this outbreak ends.
Written by Leonard Anderson Esq.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a means-based federal program that provides money to individuals who have little or no income and who are aged, blind, or disabled, to meet their basic needs for food and shelter. Under the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) regulations, assistance an SSI recipient (“recipient”) receives in the form of food and shelter is known as in-kind support and maintenance (ISM). ISM is counted as income to a recipient when calculating the amount an SSI recipient will receive in his or her monthly payment. Anyone receiving SSI must report ISM they receive to the SSA. Failing to report ISM, will result in an overpayment of SSI benefits to a recipient, which overpayment must be repaid to the government.
The amount of SSI for 2020 is $783, which is very modest and provides for a very meager existence. A well-meaning family member or friend, who wants to help an SSI recipient, may allow the recipient to live rent-free in their home, or they may pay the recipient’s food or shelter expenses. In general, the SSA applies an offset against SSI benefits a person receives if someone else pays for that person’s food or shelter. So, it is important to understand the basic rules associated with the amount of ISM provided to a recipient.
Before exploring the impact of ISM on the amount an SSI recipient receives, it is important to understand that some exceptions apply to the general rule (that the gifting of food and shelter to an SSI recipient reduces their monthly SSI benefit). Food or shelter received under the following scenarios is not considered ISM by the SSA and does not trigger a reduction in a person’s SSI benefits:
As mentioned above, the gifting of food or shelter impacts the amount of a person’s monthly SSI benefits. The definition of food is fairly common sense, but the ISM definition of shelter includes nearly all aspects of a recipient’s housing expenses. Under the SSA regulations, shelter includes mortgage payments, rent, electricity, gas, heating oil, water, sewer, garbage, any required property insurance, and real estate taxes.
The amount by which a recipient’s SSI will be reduced by ISM is determined under either the Value of the One-Third Reduction (VTR) rule or the Presumed Maximum Value (PMV) rule. The VTR is calculated by taking the maximum amount of SSI a person can receive monthly (the “Federal Benefit Rate” or FBR) and reducing it by one-third. The FBR for 2020 is $783. So, the reduction in 2020 under the VTR rule is $261 and results in a recipient receiving $522 a month in SSI instead of $783. The PMV reduction is calculated by reducing the FBR by one-third and adding $20. The PMV reduction in 2020 will be $281 (1/3 x $783 = $261 + $20 = $281) and results in the recipient receiving $502 monthly in SSI ($783 - $281 = $502) payments. It is important to know when the VTR and PMV rules apply.
The VTR rule applies when a recipient lives in another person’s home and others in the household pay for both the recipient’s food and shelter. The VTR is an all or nothing rule, with the full one-third reduction being deducted from the recipient’s monthly SSI benefit, but no more, even if the value of food and shelter the recipient receives is more than one-third of the SSI benefit. Situations in which the VTR rule does not apply include the following:
The PMV rule is used whenever the criteria to apply the VTR rule are not met. The PMV rule is also designed to be the maximum amount of ISM that can be charged against a recipient’s monthly SSI benefit. A deduction calculated under the PMV rule is rebuttable. To challenge the PMV amount, a recipient must prove they received an amount less than the PVM of either (1) the current market value of ISM received, minus payments made by the recipient; or (2) the amount actually paid by someone else.
A person’s living arrangements and support can change rapidly or over time. It is important for an SSI recipient and his or her family to remember that any change needs to be reported promptly to the SSA. Any failure to do so could result in an overpayment of SSI benefits and a demand for repayment of the benefits improperly received.
Because the ISM rules for SSI are complicated, SSI recipients and their families are well advised to seek professional legal advice about how the VTR or PMV rules apply to their particular situation, accurately reporting ISM to the SSA, and possible ways to avoid or reduce ISM reductions.
Written by Robert T. Nickerson
You looking to go the lake house and fish? Go to the beach and just tan? Go snowboarding at the mountain cabin? When you make that purchase, you want this to be a present for the family. You see this as something your children and children's children can use, play with, and make memories of for the rest of their lives. Even with the maintenance costs, it'll be worth it in the long run.
The gift of a vacation home does carry a lot of personal value and will likely create new memories. But we also have to note that if the right steps, then the memories for the adult children may not be so pleasant. Because of their high value, vacation home properties can create tension and competition between sibling. Perhaps a son wants to rent it out while the daughter wants to sell it. This is why the right planning is necessary and won't create the drama you think could happen.
I would suggest some kind of partnership or a limited liability company to own the property. Many of the business documents will at least on paper have the set plans on who will manage everything. This includes setting up a budget, how the home is used and the ability to transfer the property to someone else.
I also suggest setting up a meeting with your children and discussing those goals and what you feel is important. You may also want to set a trust that would also set up a transfer of the property to your children should something happen to you. It's easier when your still here to go over what you want for the vacation home.
A lot of families do end up keeping the lovely vacation home for generations. But there are always going to be those where having a vacation home is not a part of their long term goals. If you don't want to create the tension you could see something like this make, then a well built plan is what your going to need. I think you'd rather have this looked over before making that trip to the beach.
Today marks the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge of World War II. Though the campaign lasted through January, this was a major turning point for the war as it was the last offensive strike from Nazi Germany. A combination of factors led 6 Allies to stop the maneuver and begin the counter to bring the war to an end. The summary below from Encyclopedia Britannica best summarizes what happened that gave the allied forces the advantage to prevent the Third Reich from moving forward
Battle of the Bulge, also called Battle of the Ardennes, (December 16, 1944–January 16, 1945), the last major German offensive on the Western Front during World War II—an unsuccessful attempt to push the Allies back from German home territory. The name Battle of the Bulge was appropriated from Winston Churchill’s optimistic description in May 1940 of the resistance that he mistakenly supposed was being offered to the Germans’ breakthrough in that area just before the Anglo-French collapse; the Germans were in fact overwhelmingly successful. The “bulge” refers to the wedge that the Germans drove into the Allied lines.
After their invasion of Normandy in June 1944, the Allies moved across northern France into Belgium during the summer but lost momentum in the autumn. Apart from an abortive thrust to Arnhem, Netherlands, the efforts of the Allied armies in western Europe during September and October 1944 amounted to little more than a process of nibbling. Meanwhile, the German defense was being continuously strengthened with such reserves as could be relocated from elsewhere and with the freshly raised forces of the Volkssturm (“home guard”). German numbers were also bolstered by those troops who had managed to withdraw from France. A general offensive launched in mid-November by all six Allied armies on the Western Front brought disappointingly small results at heavy cost; continued efforts merely exhausted the attacking troops.
In mid-December Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, had at his disposal 48 divisions distributed along a 600-mile (nearly 1,000-km) front between the North Sea and Switzerland. For the site of their counteroffensive, the Germans chose the hilly and wooded country of the Ardennes. Because it was generally regarded as difficult country, a large-scale offensive there was likely to be unexpected. At the same time, the thick woods provided concealment for the massing of forces, whereas the high ground offered a drier surface for the maneuvers of tanks. An awkward feature from an offensive point of view, however, was the fact that the high ground was intersected with deep valleys where the through roads became bottlenecks where a tank advance was liable to be blocked. The aims of the German counteroffensive were far-reaching: to break through to Antwerp, Belgium, by an indirect move, to cut off the British army group from American forces as well as from its supplies, and then to crush the isolated British. Overall command of the offensive was given to Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt.
The Fifth Panzer Army, led by Hasso, Freiherr (baron) von Manteuffel, was to break through the U.S. front in the Ardennes, swerve westward, and then wheel northward across the Meuse, past Namur to Antwerp. As it advanced, it was to build up a defensive flank barricade to shut off interference from the U.S. armies farther south. The Sixth Panzer Army, under SS commander Sepp Dietrich, was to thrust northwestward on an oblique line past Liège to Antwerp, creating a strategic barrier astride the rear of the British and of the more northerly American armies. To those two panzer armies the Germans gave the bulk of the tanks that they could scrape together. To minimize the danger from a speedy intervention of Anglo-American air power, which was vastly greater than their own, the Germans launched their stroke when the meteorological forecast promised them a natural cloak; indeed, for the first three days, mist and rain kept the Allied air forces on the ground.
Aided by its surprise, the German counteroffensive, which started before dawn on December 16, 1944, made menacing progress in the opening days, creating alarm and confusion on the Allied side. The Fifth Panzer Army bypassed Bastogne (which was held throughout the offensive by the U.S. 101st Airborne Division under the tenacious leadership of Gen. Anthony McAuliffe) and by December 24 had advanced to within 4 miles (6 km) of the Meuse River. Time and opportunities were lost, however, through gasoline shortages resulting from wintry weather and from growing Allied air attacks, and the German drive faltered. This frustration of the German advance was largely due to the way in which outflanked U.S. detachments held Bastogne and several other important bottlenecks in the Ardennes as well as to the speed with which British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, who had taken charge of the situation on the northern flank, swung his reserves southward to forestall the Germans at the crossings of the Meuse.
Gen. George S. Patton’s Third Army relieved Bastogne on the 26th, and on January 3, 1945, the U.S. First Army began a counteroffensive. Between January 8 and January 16 the Allied armies concentrated their strength and were attempting to pinch off the great German wedge driven into their front, but the Germans carried out a skillful withdrawal that took them out of the potential trap. Judged on its own account, the Battle of the Bulge had been a profitable operation for Germany, for, even though it fell short of its objectives, it upset the Allies’ preparations and inflicted much damage at a cost that was not excessive for the effect. Viewed in relation to the whole situation, however, the counteroffensive had been a fatal operation. While the Allies suffered some 75,000 casualties, Germany lost 120,000 men and stores of matériel that it could ill afford to replace. Germany had thus forfeited the chance of maintaining any prolonged resistance to a resumed Allied offensive. It brought home to the German troops their incapacity to turn the scales and thereby undermined such hopes as they had retained.
Written by Robert T. Nickerson
If you frequent our website and social media page, then you are already aware that plenty of celebrities have not planned out their estate well. This has resulted in their families facing legal trouble and hardship, which only gets worse if their net worth was significant. Now here's a fun fact; did you know that Abraham Lincoln didn't have an estate plan either? Yep, a lawyer by trade and the president never had an estate plan drawn up before his assassination.
Even if one of them most popular presidents made mistake, you don't have to. Everyone should have an end of life plan. You want to have a good retirement and an ease of mind, right? Here are four things you can do to improve your estate plan.
1. Review Beneficiary Designations
Did you know that a lot of accounts can pass to heirs without the need of going to probate? This is done through a Beneficiary Designation form. It is a piece of paper that can take something like Life Insurance contracts, 401Ks, and IRA and state who you want to inherent access to those accounts. It's easy to name people, backups, and even split accounts by dollar amount between the people you want to be beneficiaries.
Check to see if those documents are updated with the beneficiaries you want.
2. Have Proper life Insurance
What does life insurance do? It's to give the family a safety net when a loved one passes and provide an temporary income to compensate for the loss of life. It comes in handy if you need more time to figure out the finances in case some are still working.
This is especially helpful in retirement. Let's say a loved one spent the majority of time putting money into a retirement account along with social security and another income source, it makes sense to have life insurance to help with the blow.
It can also help in the event of a funeral. It can cost a lot of money to provide a grave and a tombstone. It can even cost money for the urn should they be cremated. Having life insurance can provide funds for a proper memorial.
Check to see if the loved one has some kind of life insurance.
3. Avoid Probate with Trusts
Probate can give you a lot of trouble if you don't have the proper wills and trusts in place. A will is something that everyone needs, but a trust is a lot more. They can provide similar executions that a deed does, but it can help control assets for those that the loved one cares for, but that individual is not able to care for themselves.
A lot of people will get a revocable trust, which allows the trustee to manage the assets of a loved one and follow through on proper instructions. Though an irrevocable trust is more complicated, it can help within an annual tax liability and protect certain estate taxes. Because their more expensive, I'd advise you to speak to an attorney before making any of these kinds of decisions.
4. Incorporate Charitable Giving
For a lot of people, they want to leave a legacy by donating to a church, ala mater, charity or an organization they care about. This is why it's possible to set up your assets to be passed to a charitable goal.
Estate plans can be easily set up to include charitable giving. This gives you the chance to create gifts for charitable remainder annuity trusts (CRAT) to allow part of your assets to go to a beneficiary and the rest to a charity. This can even be included in an IRA, which allows assets to be passed onto both loved ones and charities.
In the end, no estate plan is like another and should be looked at carefully. I can't stress enough that estate plans are not about money; their about protecting the rest of your family and making sure the transition process is as smooth as possible.
Written by Robert T. Nickerson
Let's see: You've made your travel plans, figured out whose going to bring what dish and it's time to visit that loved one for Thanksgiving. But when you get there, it's clear that the loved one isn't getting any younger and is going to need help at some point. I say take the day to watch one of many football games and maybe even the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. But the next day should remind you that time cannot be replaced, and should be used to consider what kind of plan to make. It'll be something to be thankful for the next year.
An estate plan is more then a glorified will. An estate plan is also going to have several documents that will set things. Some of them will include;
Ask the loved one if they've created an estate plan with similar documents. If they answer yes, take a look at them to see if their up to date (which is a mistake people have made). If everything looks good, then you won't have to do much work and can relax. If not, work with them to set up a meeting with an estate planning attorney.
While your having a bite of the mashed potatoes at the Thanksgiving table, you might be asking yourself, "As the one in charge of the financial power of attorney, what responsibilities do I have?".
What this means is your going to be in charge of making the financial decisions for the loved one whose agreed to put you in that position. It's not just for medical related finances, but it can also fall under general finances should they not be in a position to make reasonable decisions. The documents for financial power of attorney will also lay out if those powers are immediate or delayed for something more urgent.
Some other responsibilities could revolve around purchasing real estate, paying bills and taxes, acquiring insurance, representing them in a court of law, going into personal records and even applying for government benefits.
Just as your about to help yourself into some stuffing, you may realize your not the only one concerned. Do you have a sibling? Their probably thinking about that loved one as well. They may have been selected for health care power of attorney.
What do they do? A health care power of attorney will be responsible for making healthcare decisions if the loved one is unable to. By being "unable" is within the condition of not being able to communicate on their own due to an ailment. They'll also be selecting the medical care they feel will benefit the loved one the best and also make life decisions should they be given a recommendation by a doctor. This is understandably putting a lot of pressure and you should be sure the person in charge of health care is ready for that kind of responsibility.
In conclusion, thinking over these two aspects will give you something to be thankful for as these things are never easy. Once accomplished, then you'll have a clear understanding on your loved one's plans and it'll proceed. You can now spend the rest of your Thanksgiving having some pumpkin pie, watch the game, and maybe the airing of Home Alone.
Jeffrey C. Nickerson - Estate Planning Attorney - My Passion is Special Needs Planning!