Care Of Your Assets When You Can't
There are several alternatives for assuring continuation of your affairs if you can't. As you review the alternatives, please keep in mind that there is no one right answer for everyone.
- A durable power of attorney
- A durable power of attorney appoints someone you trust to handle your affairs if you become incapacitated. It covers gives another person authority to act for you in all matters you choose except health care decisions (which can be covered by a Health Care Power of Attorney).
- A durable power of attorney can be created for free or little cost.
- For more information, see Durable Power Of Attorney
- The appointment of a guardian.
- A guardian is a person appointed by a court to take over a person's financial and other affairs.
- While the decision is the court's, judges tend to respect the wishes of a parent if a minor is involved, or the person him or herself if the guardianship is about an adult.
- For information guardianship, including who to choose and what to communicate to that person, click here.
- A trust, such as a Revocable Living Trust.
- Trusts, including popular Revocable Living Trusts, are separate entities you can create to hold and administer your assets.
- Although many self-help books and web sites are available, it is preferable to use an attorney when creating a trust – or at least to have an attorney review your work.
- With a trust, there is the cost of setting it up, transferring title to your assets to the trust, and accounting for a separate entity. One advantage of using a trust is that your assets pass to your heirs without going through probate.
- For more information, see: Trusts and Revocable Living Trusts
- An entity such as a Corporation or a Limited Liability Company.
- An entity continues no matter what happens to the founder/owner.
- For information about using an entity for these purposes, click here.
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