Do you know you need a Health Care Proxy, a Power of Attorney (POA) and an estate plan? Getting organized to create a will is a good place to start, according to the Toronto Sun in the article “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
Many people insist that they are fine and not old enough to need a POA. However, life holds surprises. Parents whose adult children are injured in a sport or accident, discover they can’t manage their kid’s finances because there was no POA in place.
Anyone over the age of 18 needs a Health Care Proxy, a POA and a will. The Health Care Proxy and POA are used while you are alive, if you should become incapacitated and the will is used after you die. You’ll want to speak with an estate planning attorney to create these documents and an overall plan, since this is a complex area of the law and every person’s situation is different. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all document. The problem is, you won’t know that until it’s too late.
Another reason for an estate plan is to protect the emotional integrity of a family. Estate battles don’t just happen to celebrities. They happen to “regular” people as well. Families often fracture, when grandparents or parents neglect to share details of their financial situation or reasons for their estate plan.
Let’s say you come home from the hospital after a serious operation and find that a member of your family, without your knowing it, has decided to prepare all your belongings for your demise.
Everything in the house has a sticker on it, bearing either the name of a person who was expecting to inherit the item, or a price for an estate sale. No plans about your will were ever discussed with your children, so they had no idea what you wanted. From their perspective, they were expecting you to pass and just making sure things were properly taken care of.
Those kids probably won’t get a penny, since their eagerness was excessive. They were concerned more about possessions than their parents.
An estate planning attorney can advise you on creating an estate plan that fits your needs and wishes.
Reference: Toronto Sun (Dec. 30, 2019) “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”