What are 3 mistakes that can cost a LOT of money and take away control?
I’m going to cover the 3 big mistakes that can cost a lot of money and take away control. Then I’ll tell you how to fix them.
Hi. I’m Gary the owner of DeWitt Law. You know you need a plan. Its time to start. Schedule your free meeting at DeWitt dot law.
The #3 mistake is not having durable powers of attorney.
Without a durable power of attorney, your family is powerless to help you if you are injured, sick, or develop dementia. They will have to go to court to get permission to manage your affairs and sign your name.
If you are unable to manage your affairs and do not have a Power of Attorney, a judge may have to appoint someone to act for you in a legal proceeding called a Guardianship. A Guardianship is very expensive, and your personal and financial information become public. In a Guardianship, the Judge takes control away from you and gives it to somebody else. They now have the legal authority to make your decisions and manage your money and property for you.
A guardianship costs $3,000 or more.
You can’t “get” a power of attorney over somebody. A power of attorney must be given. You would have to “get” a guardianship from a Judge.
Comprehensive, up-to-date Power of Attorney documents can avoid a costly guardianship trial.
With Powers of Attorney, you get to decide who is in control and how much power they have.
The same for healthcare. Without your written permission, your family is powerless to make healthcare decisions on your behalf.
Even your spouse doesn’t have the power to make your decisions. The law considers an adult to be an individual and in control of their own decisions. You don’t automatically have permission to make your spouse’s decisions because of marriage.
A Durable Power of Attorney lets you decide who will be in control and how much power they have instead of a Judge.
The #2 mistake is trying to plan on your own without understanding the long term consequences.
If you put somebody else on the house or accounts and they drive, everybody else on the road is a potential lawsuit waiting to happen. One accident is all it takes to end up losing your house and money to them. It doesn’t matter how financially responsible the other person you put on the deed or account is. If they have an auto accident, then your house and money are up for grabs in the lawsuit that will follow.
If they end up with huge medical bills due to a medical incident or accident, your house and money are exposed to their medical expenses.
And, to top it all off, if you want ownership back later, it may be difficult to impossible to remove them because they’ll have to sign it back over to you.
The moral of the story is, don’t put children on the deeds or accounts. You have better ways, like a durable power of attorney, to accomplish the same things.
And the #1 mistake is having the do nothing plan. If you do nothing, the state will be in charge of your decisions and estate.
People who do nothing still have a plan, because if they don’t write their own plan, then the state has written one for them. The state legislature has passed laws that dictate what happens to you and your stuff.
You and your family don’t get a say in how your estate is divided.
Your loved ones end up in probate court to get everything settled. And, during probate, your personal and financial affairs are made public in a process that can take many months or years.
It’s time to plan. Schedule your free meeting at DeWitt dot law.