Naming your children as executors or powers of attorney is simply a matter of sitting down with your estate attorney, clearly communicating what it is that you want, and preparing the documents. The things that I would consider is whether any of the children have a medical background. How have they dealt with the passing of other relatives? Are they close by? Do they have the ability to stop in at the hospital and make sure that your needs are being addressed? Do they communicate well with the other family members? Do they feel that they are entitled or tend to act in their own self-interest? You want someone who is neutral and who is going to honor their fiduciary duty to everyone involved.
Is There Anything That You Cannot Change From a Previously Set Up Estate Plan?
Under most circumstances, you cannot change an irrevocable trust. If the grantor is incapacitated and we have doctor’s notes stating that they are incapacitated, then we’ve lost the ability to modify the estate planning document. A lot of times, we get calls from children and they say they want to update their parent’s power of attorney and advanced healthcare directive. Then, they go on to say that Mom or Dad has Dementia or Alzheimer’s. Unfortunately, we have to tell those clients that, unless they have allegations of mismanagement, we can’t update Mom or Dad’s documents at that point. If there are mismanagement allegations that are substantiated, then they could always petition the court for a conservatorship to have the previous powers of attorney terminated.
What Are the Most Important Components to Address in Estate Planning for Retirement?
When it comes to retirement, we obviously want to consider our retirement accounts. Who are our beneficiaries? Are they going to manage the money wisely? Do we need to have a neutral third party step in and manage the money for them? Do they have creditor concerns? Are they in a rocky marriage that might result in divorce and create a division of the retirement accounts or other assets? Like most other estate planning, when it comes to retirement planning, you want to make sure that your financial advisor, your estate attorney, and your CPA are all communicating. They are all working towards a common goal: to make sure that the retirement plan, estate plan, or financial plan addresses the client’s goals.