Pick’s Disease

Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to represent multiple clients that have been diagnosed with Pick’s Disease. Pick’s Disease is a rare and permanent form of dementia that has serious and lasting effects on the person. Those who suffer from Pick’s Disease have behavioral and personality changes which will eventually make it impossible for them to hold down a job or live independently. It is extremely important that anyone diagnosed with this disease meet with an elder law attorney to discuss asset protection and life care planning. Caring for someone with dementia can bankrupt a family unless proper planning is put in place.

If you are diagnosed with Pick’s disease, you should have a power of attorney and advance medical directive prepared, as well discuss whether a special needs trust or asset protection trust would be appropriate for your situation. Don’t delay in making sure your family is protected. Prior planning makes all the difference.

Revoking a Power of Attorney

If for any reason, you become unhappy with the person you have appointed to make decisions for you under a durable power of attorney, you may revoke the power of attorney at any time. There are a few steps you should take to ensure the document is properly revoked.

If you execute a new power of attorney, it should state that old powers of attorney are revoked. However, you may also put the revocation in writing. The revocation should include your name, a statement that you are of sound mind, and your wish to revoke the power of attorney. You should also specify the date the original power of attorney was executed and the person selected as your agent. It should be signed by you according to the same requirements needed to execute a power of attorney in your state. Send this revocation to the agent under your old power of attorney, as well as your new agent, and any banks or financial institutions that you are working with. Attach your new power of attorney to the revocation.

You will need to get the old power of attorney back from your agent. If you can’t get it back, send the agent a certified letter, stating that the power of attorney has been revoked to put them on notice that they are no longer allowed to act on your behalf.

Finally, because a durable power of attorney is the most important estate planning instrument available, if you revoke a power of attorney, it is important to have a new one put into place immediately. An elder law attorney can assist you in revoking an old power of attorney and drafting a new one.

For more information on powers of attorney, click here www.manzlawfirm.com

Estate Planning

Why Plan Your Estate?
The process of estate planning means that you have a plan prepared for the management of your affairs during your life and for the disposition of your property upon your death or disability.  No one likes to dwell on the prospect of his or her own death or disability. The failure to plan may cause you or your family to incur unnecessary expenses, taxes, delays, and stress when you die or be become disabled. You run the risk that your loved ones may not receive what you would want them to receive after your death due to conflicts and disagreements, taxes, or administrative costs after death. Failure to plan may also cause you to run out of money during your lifetime if you are to need long-term care. This means that there may be no inheritance left for your spouse or children. This can all be avoided by proper estate planning.    A complete estate plan should consider the needs of your spouse, children, and other beneficiaries.
A comprehensive estate plan will address the following questions:
Whom do I want to make financial or health care decisions for me if I am incapacitated?
Whom do I want to manage my estate after my death?
Where do I want my property to go after my death?
What if my I want to leave property to a beneficiary who is disabled, has a substance abuse problem, or may become divorced?
What happens if my spouse or I become disabled?
How can I minimize or avoid probate taxes and fees after my death?
How can I leave an inheritance for my children?
All estate plans should include the two important estate planning instruments: a durable power of attorney and an advance medical directive.  The first is for managing your property during your life, in case you are ever unable to do so yourself.  The second is for the management of your health care decisions in case you are unable to do so yourself.  Also, an estate plan should include a will and possibly a revocable trust.  Many Americans are using revocable (or “living”) trusts to avoid probate and to manage their estates both during their lives and after they’re gone, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best option for your family.
A complete estate plan will address your needs, as well as the needs of your spouse, children and other family members or business partners.  A good estate planning attorney will discuss your specific family situation with you to determine the best estate plan for your family, whether you need a will and/or a trust and to ensure that you are take care of in the event of a disability.
Don’t delay in getting a proper estate plan put into place. Not having the proper estate plan could have disastrous results for your family. Prior planning makes all the difference.