Estate planning in a changing workforce

Estate planning has certainly changed tremendously in even just the last 15 years. Nowadays, it is common to have both parents working and not able to stay home to raise the kids, as well as a major increase in same-sex couple planning and marriages, and the decrease in the need for federal estate tax planning in light of the increase in the federal estate tax limits. All of these contribute to a very different need and view of estate planning, but highlight the necessity for discussing with a professional.  
Inclusion-2731340_640The need for a power of attorney cannot be understated; I often say that I believe that it is probably the single most important document that anyone can have. Nowadays with both parents working in the workforce, we have found an increase in the number of husbands and wives who have separate accounts that are not jointly owned. This increases the need for a Will to make sure that the account goes where the individual account owner wants it to go (probably to the spouse), but also the critical need for a power of attorney. If the account owner loses capacity, there is no other option other than a guardianship, which is very emotional and can be very costly.  
Parents of minor children need to ensure that they have a guardian named in their Wills in case one or both of the parents pass away, to designate who is going to care for their minor children.   

With the increase in the federal estate tax limits in recent years, the need for federal estate tax planning has decreased significantly, but the need for asset protection planning has increased exponentially. There are many tools available now that were not available years ago because of the significant increase in the federal estate tax limit which allow us to do things that we didn’t in the past.

Thus, it is becoming extremely important for all individuals to have estate planning, and certainly the need for same-sex couple planning has risen significantly, particularly if the same-sex couple is not married. In that case, powers of attorney to be essential if the partners want each other to be able to make medical or financial decisions for each other.  
Estate planning in recent years has in some ways become more complicated, but at a minimum basic estate planning is important.  Consult your an elder law attorney to get your estate planning in place.  Click here and fill out our simple form and we can help!  



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