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Baby Boomers and durable powers of attorney

As the Baby Boomer generation enters retirement, these Americans will have a unique set of needs when it comes to estate planning. Many Boomers in Philadelphia have already set up their estate planning packages, but they may not be reviewing and revising those documents as their circumstances change. This is especially true in regard to durable powers of attorney.

Most married couples simply name each other as their designated proxy for health and financial matters. They assume that if one party becomes injured or ill, then the other will be the best equipped to know how to handle matters. This presumption is correct in most cases, but there are circumstances that can render both parties incapable of fulfilling that role.

If a couple is lucky enough to grow old together, it is entirely possible that they could experience a degree of cognitive decline at roughly the same time. If one should become incapacitated, that would place an enormous burden on the other spouse. He or she might not be cognitively or emotionally equipped to handle those responsibilities.

A better approach is for Philadelphia couples to include their family in the estate planning process as they reach their later years. At some point, it might be wise to turn over durable powers of attorney to an adult child. Doing so can give the entire family the peace of mind of knowing that any health or financial decisions that may need to be made will be made in light of the wishes of those who created the estate plan.

Source: Forbes, "The Most Important Estate Planning Issue Boomers Need To Address", Kelley Long, May 8, 2016

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