Last Wills and Testaments
Wills are an important component of such planning to address the issues of picking a guardian or picking an executor of the estate and defining how assets would be inherited. A last will and testament can ensure that your estate is divided up correctly.
Individuals have particular situations that need attention that must be addressed from time to time. For example, if a young couple has minor children, it is critical to have an estate plan that has the right products to address the situation in the event of the death of both spouses. For example, without a Will, the court would have to appoint a legal guardian of the children who would manage the financial affairs and the actions of the minor child. Unfortunately, upon the child’s eighteenth birthday the guardianship would end and all assets would have to be distributed to an eighteen year old. Not a result most clients would desire.
Other situations arise for clients such as those who are over the age of fifty-five. Most clients have IRAs or some form of retirement plans. In most cases the spouse is the beneficiary in the event of the death of the owner of the IRA. However, what if the owner of the IRA has a stroke and is disabled. While the spouse may be the beneficiary upon death, the spouse is not the beneficiary in the event of a disability and the spouse would have no legal right to withdraw funds out of the IRA even to care for the owner of the IRA. This is where such devices such as a Springing Durable Power of Attorney would come in to play to give authority for a spouse upon an individual’s disability to withdraw funds out of an IRA.
Ted W. Hoyt practices in Last Wills and Testaments.