Valentines’ Day is upon us and we’re surrounded by images of hearts and flowers. Even if a person doesn’t celebrate the day, it’s hard to miss the pink and red reminders that we should show our loved ones how much we care. One way to do this is to finally take care of those pesky legal matters that you keep shoving under the bed to wait for another day.
In our practice we have a lot of clients who come in to set up their plans before there’s an actual crisis. We’ve also had a lot of clients who didn’t manage to take care of a legal matter and now must deal with it in the midst of an emergency, when they really don’t have the luxury of time. Tackling legal issues in the midst of a crisis is always more complex.
Here are some examples of situations we help people with, that shouldn’t wait until the last minute.
Guardianship –– When a loved one in the family simply cannot manage their own affairs due to dementia, intellectual developmental disabilities or severe mental illness, and their health and assets are at risk, the remedy often requires court intervention by way of guardianship. The process can take at least several months. Starting a guardianship process when the concerned family member first discovers they can’t take care of something for their loved one can cause all kinds of financial problems. Why might a guardian be needed? To do things like getting a mortgage for your loved one, trying to sell their house, accessing funds to pay bills, or making a residential placement.
Updating estate plans — As the years fly by, the persons who were chosen to act as Executor or Power of Attorney or Health Care Proxy may have died or moved away or become ill. The people you planned to leave money to 20 years ago may not be the people you care about now. Or a loved one may have developed certain problems and leaving their inheritance In Trust is a smarter idea. Unless you update your written estate plan periodically, you can be stuck with an outdated plan that doesn’t actually match your preferences.
Creating an estate plan, and keeping the documents safe and findable. I can’t tell you how many times I was called by potential clients over the years to rush to see them in the hospital because they had never made a Will or Power of Attorney. This is not an ideal way to create a plan, and sometimes, one simply cannot get to that hospital in time, resulting in a chaotic situation for the heirs. If the heir is disabled and receives SSI, Medicaid or DDD benefits, a great deal of work may then be needed to protect those benefits.
You can show your loved ones that you care by taking care of the legal issues needed for their protection. For advice and assistance, call for appointment ………… 732-382-6070