On August 23, 2013

People in Colorado who are engaged in their estate planning might want to include provisions denoting how they want their estates handled if they become unable to make financial decisions themselves in their living wills. Because more and more Americans are living longer, it is more important than ever now for people to plan for who will be in charge of their estates if they can’t do it themselves.

There are some barriers that families may face in approaching the topic of estate planning, however. First of all, the owner of the estate might be reluctant to have a conversation about possibly needing help making financial decisions. He or she might be embarrassed or defensive about having to ask family members for help. In other cases, the estate owner might be in denial that he or she needs help even if he or she is exhibiting all the signs of being unable to make financial decisions alone. Then, there might be cases of sibling rivalry that makes it difficult for the family to denote who would have power of attorney if the need arose.

When family members become mentally unable to make sound financial decisions themselves, their loved ones should find out as much information about the condition causing the problem as possible. After that, they should help them come up with estate plans by conducting an inventory of assets, consolidating accounts to manage transactions better, and designating power of attorney. Once that is done, family members should divide up who is going to do what and create a calendar of finances and bills to ensure that their loved one’s bills are paid.

Probate attorneys might be able to help people draft sound wills and other estate administration documents. They might also be able to help investigate the different strategies that a client can take to break up caregiver duties concerning finances.

Source: Millionaire Corner, “”Major Barriers” Preventing Families from Estate Planning: Survey”, Donald Liebenson , August 14, 2013

Categories: Estate Planning

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