Abo And Company Suggests You Please Have This Discussion
A conversation with children and aging parents about the latter's finances is vital, yet few families can broach the subject. Parents are often reluctant to talk about the subject because it raises the specter of their death, and then there is often the concern that children might take advantage if they knew the parents' wealth. Children also have a reluctance to raise the issue of death and they may be fearful that their genuine concern about the parents' affairs may be misinterpreted as greed. Nevertheless, to avoid a family catastrophe, the finances must be discussed. Issues we at Abo and Company have seen that need to be raised might include:
Establishment of joint checking accounts so children can pay bills;
Creation of a durable power of attorney to enable someone to act in the parents' behalf in the event of incapacity (more on this further down);
Use of living trusts if the parents' financial affairs are complex;
Creation of a will;
Need for long-term care insurance;
Possibilities of qualifying for Medicaid through creation of trusts.
It's also vital that children meet the parents' legal, financial and investment advisors.
Since so many families have difficulty broaching this subject, we embrace being the quintessential CPA (okay, okay, Certified Pain in the Ass) functioning as the catalyst to open the conversation. If you need the name or names of another of the mentioned advisors with the requisite skill set to add to "the team", do just give us a call.
Thank Benjamin Abo for us reminding thru his continual use of "Thank You Captain Obvious" but do note our disclaimer that we are NOT attorneys. However, in one of our prior email alerts and even on our website, we provided the personal Power of Attorney prepared for and used by Marty Abo as we wanted to show you that we try to "practice what we preach". However, the illustration is for informational purposes only and is NOT to be relied upon as legal advice. This is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney and we encourage readers to have your own documents prepared and reviewed by an experienced lawyer. For example, as Ray Console, Esq., tax partner at Cozen O'Connor, reminded us in drafting the one we shared for Marty, that form is New Jersey specific. The most effective General Durable Power of Attorney is prepared in accordance with the law of the applicable jurisdiction in which the client resides. To our knowledge, there really isn't an effective "all-state" form. Again, if you need the name of one of the many seasoned attorneys we know with this expertise, you should just give us a call.