Vol 217: IN THIS ISSUE
 
Long-term Care Plan...?


Beneficiary Designations


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Have You Wondered?
 
Have you sometimes wondered about how well-prepared you are for the future?

Many people have told us that their familiarity with estate planning and probate is limited; many more say their wills are not up to date and few are aware of the extent to which an elder law firm can simplify these processes.

Our website offers simple answers to these and similar questions.

Or, please feel free to contact us if we can be of help in any way.
 

 
 


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Long Term Care Planning and the Financial Durable Power of Attorney

The financial and emotional implications of becoming disabled can have a profound effect on one’s family. It is difficult enough to see a loved one decline, but when you combine that with wondering if you can afford to get them the care they need things can become overwhelming and even more stressful, when there is no long-term care plan in place. Since none of us can be certain this won’t happen to us, it is of utmost importance that we plan ahead, as one of the most overlooked aspects of long term care planning is the failure to account for the risk that we will not be able to act for ourselves.

"Planning ahead" in this context means having the necessary estate planning documents in place that provide our trusted loved ones with the ability to assist us with planning when we are unable to do so for ourselves.

Chief amongst these estate planning documents is the Financial Durable Power of Attorney, which appoints an Agent to generally carry on your financial and personal affairs on your behalf, providing them with broad powers that can include the ability to make gifts on your behalf. Did you know that being a spouse does not give you the authority to act on behalf of your spouse? Only a legal document appointing you as financial agent can do that. That being the case, if your loved one is deemed incompetent and does not have a financial power of attorney in place, then only way you will be able to act on his / her behalf relative to his / her financial matters is to pursue a Guardianship in Probate Court. This is a time consuming and costly court process that adds to the complexity and stress of long term care planning.

Thus, it is important for us to make certain that our Financial Durable Power of Attorney is up to date, and to communicate with our loved ones about our wishes and about of the nature and extent of our finances and property. These steps can help alleviate the stress.

We at Curtin Law Office wish you and your family a safe and happy Fourth of July.


Beneficiary Designations

When was the last time that you checked the beneficiary designation for your retirement account or life insurance policy?

If you have not recently done so, then you may find that your designated beneficiary is not who or what you think it should be, especially if you have divorced, remarried or had children since your retirement plan account was initially established.

What if you named a charity as your beneficiary, and that charity no longer exists?

While many of us ensure that other important documents such as trusts, wills and powers of attorney are updated on a frequent basis, we tend to neglect beneficiary designations.

There are numerous cases where a retirement account owner has divorced and remarried and neglected to update their beneficiary designations. A similar situation arises where children are named as life insurance beneficiaries but the document has not been updated to include those who were born after the initial designation.

To prevent these situations, you should periodically review and, if necessary, update your beneficiary designations. This can be done by contacting the custodian of your retirement account and your life insurance agent and completing paperwork.

 

 


Curtin Law Office - 40 Bay Street - Manchester, NH - 603.669.7700
www.curtinlawoffice.com