Blended Families and Powers of Attorney

Even though mixed families are progressively more typical, they do have different estate planning concerns.  There are basically two main areas of concern when you plan the estates of a combined family. The initial issues relate to concerns affecting an individual during his or her life, which can be separated into two basic sub-areas of financial/legal and health-care/personal issues. The other main area of concern is connected to planning for post-death for the individual who is in a blended household.

Blended_FamilyThis blog post will take a look at the issues associated with asset management as well as legal decision-making while the individual is alive.

While you are able, you need to consider who you’d like to serve as your attorney-in-fact in case you become unable of making your own decisions. When you have a new partner as well as kids from a prior marital relationship, it may not be obvious who you would wish to make those sorts of choices on your behalf.

Alternatively, you might know exactly who you want to appoint. Yet, if you do not have the proper documents prepared and signed, you aren’t effectively protected.

Spouses in blended families typically have their own assets, often including homes, prior to going into the marriage, and after getting married they could keep accumulating properties together. Consequently, having a power of attorney in place could reduce possible issues if you were to become incapacitated and thereby unable to make your own decisions.

So what is a power of attorney? It is a document which gives somebody else the authority, while you are alive, to act in your place with respect to financial matters, such as paying bills, managing investments, or selling your home on your behalf.

It’s crucial to give careful thought about the person that you would want to assign the task of being your attorney-in-fact, as a durable power of attorney will certainly affect you well beyond when you are no longer able to express your desires or care for yourself.

The person that you name could be the same individual(s) you designate to make your healthcare decisions, or it could be somebody else. And each spouse may certainly name different persons. The things to consider are typically very similar however. Who can you rely on? Would you want to assign all of the authority to your spouse, your children, or another relied upon person? I’ve seen people even name a step-child over their spouse or own biological children.

The important thing is to make this decision before it is too late.

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