Lately, the matter of Brooke Astor’s estate has been covered in the media. Like many people she had an estate plan in place which included a Durable Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy, which nominated subsituted decision makers in the event she would lose the capacity to make important financial and/or medical decisions at some point during her elder years. She did not want to burden her family with obtaining a Guardianship and/or Conservatorship through the courts. She did end up suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and her son took over her financial powers. He just didn’t do a very good job… [Read more…]
Occasionally a minor child will end up living with someone else besides his or her parents. This could be temporary, semi-permanent, or permanent. Perhaps the parent is in the military and was called to active duty so the child goes to live with a grandparent. Maybe the parents have a health or substance abuse issues and an aunt/uncle take charge of the child. Or perhaps a child chooses to live with a relative so that they may attend a specific school.
In situations such as those it used to be that in order for the caregiver to have the authority they needed to deal with health care providers, medications, and the school systems, a guardianship was needed. This process was costly, time consuming, and actually replaced the parent’s rights to make decisions for their children during the time that the guardianship remained in effect. A trip to the Probate Court was needed to initiate and terminate the process. [Read more…]
Last night I spoke at the Lutheran Health Care Center in Worcester. One attendee asked, “How often should I review my current estate plan?” It is very important to review your family’s financial and estate plan at least every 3-5 years. The general rule is that the older you are, the more frequent your reviews should be. [Read more…]