Powers of attorney are documents giving someone else the power to make decisions on your behalf when you are no longer capable of doing so. These could be financial decisions or, depending on the type of power of attorney given, decisions about your welfare.
They are very important documents, and should not be taken out lightly or without expert advice. But are they worth doing?
We think so, and here are a few reasons why:
1. We are all living longer. This is undoubtedly a good thing, but it does mean that more of us are likely to be afflicted with conditions that affect our mental capacity. It makes sense to plan ahead, just in case it happens to you.
2. It makes it easier for your friends/relatives to take care of you. If something happens to you, such as a serious road accident, for example, and you don’t have a power of attorney in place, then it can be difficult for your relatives or friends to deal with things like your bills or mortgage without going to court first. Sigue leyendo →
Anyone who’s put a loved one to rest knows that death is not cheap. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the average adult funeral cost $6,560 in 2009 (their most current data). That doesn’t even include such common add-ons as a cemetery plot, headstone, flowers, obituaries and limousine, which can add thousands to the bill.
Because death is a frequently avoided topic, many people aren’t armed in advance with information about the many variables — and costs — involved in planning a funeral. Thus, just when survivors are grieving and most vulnerable, they’re bombarded by decisions that must be made quickly, often without even knowing what their loved one would have wanted.
The key message for the living is to decide on your preferred funeral arrangements Sigue leyendo →
For many families, taking care of a loved one with special needs is a daily challenge. Whether it is a child, sibling or other family member, the compassion and caring instincts can be overwhelming. But when it comes to the specific estate planning needs and desires of these situations, it can be very important to look at all the contingencies.
While you want to make sure that your loved ones needs will be met or surpassed, you also need to make decisions that will benefit your overall estate plans at the same time. If your planning also involves family members without special needs, specific considerations should be in place that will maximize the overall benefit to your family, while not sacrificing your special needs plans.
Choosing the right person or people to handle the management of your assets after you die merits a lot of thought. While it’s pretty common to appoint a family member or friend, that’s not your only choice. A lot depends on your personal situation — both the complexity of your estate as well as family dynamics.
Appointing a family member can be seen as a symbol of love and faith. However, in the case of multiple siblings, it could be interpreted as an expression of trust in one child over another. So I can understand the dilemma. But while there’s an emotional component to this choice, you need to try to keep sentiment in check. To me, it’s really about who will do the best job. Sigue leyendo →
Most of us post many things on social networks (photos, friends, fans,…) we all have electronic banking (balances, transactions, receipts,…) on internet. Others have their own blog (opinions, ideologies, phobias and filias, …) but we, one way or the other, have our online life. What are you going to do? Sigue leyendo →
Estate planning is not just for older or wealthy people, younger people need an estate plan if they have minor children or to be prepared in case of a serious injury or accidental death.
Younger people who participate in risky sports or activities like skiing, cliff diving, car racing, or even boxing should consider the possibility that they could become seriously injured and require long-term medical care. Even worse, your untimely death could result from these activities.Sigue leyendo →
There are a number of different ways of going about transferring wealth to the next generation. The best known and commonly used option is a will. These legal declarations are extensively employed by the wealthy; our research establishes that more than three-quarters of high net worth individuals around the world have wills.
In the US, almost everyone has a will (94%) and this is only slightly less commonplace in Europe (87%), whilst in Asia and the Middle East this stands at around 50% on average. The uptake of wills within countries is influenced by whether or not “heirship” laws exist, which spell out how part or all of a deceased’s estate must be divided. Such laws are common in civil law jurisdictions, such as in France, Spain, Italy and Latin America.
In Japan, individuals do not typically write wills, instead they express their wishes in general and polite terms, and the family reaches consensus on how assets will be distributed. Birth order is a key determinant here, and sometimes all the property may go to the eldest son. This approach is in keeping with the culture in Japan. Shimon Takagi, Partner at White & Case in Tokyo explains that there is a common view across East Asia that, “property is not your property; you are only borrowing it… We don’t have a strong desire to control something after we die.”
Some 69% of wealthy individuals have revised their wills at least once and 26% have revised them three or more times. These will revisions are predominantly driven by financial reasons and life-stage events. The top four reasons for revising wills in order of importance are: an increase in wealth, tax efficiency/tax planning, marriage/new partners and birth of a child.
One of the reasons why we should make our minds up and make our last will and testament is because of our children.
If both of us decease in an accident how are they going to grow up? Who are they going to stay with? Who will educate them? Do the rest know if they have a rare illness and how to treat it? What about their medical history?
The truth is that we have to think as if this not going to happen but leave everything under control just in case it does. This is vital and we do not want to leave it to our relatives or friends decision’s. We know what we want for our children and we need to write specific orders on how to proceed.
This is why at MyPatrimony.com they have messages post-mortem so you can communicate, in case it happens, what to do and how. Besides this, there is also MySafeBox where you can store all those key documents which are vital for them to know if we pass away suddenly, no saying goodbye.