"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

 

— Margaret Meade

Healthy Grosse Pointe and Harper Woods 

389 St. Clair 

Grosse Pointe, MI 48230

1-313-647-2827

Healthy Seniors

LEGAL HOT TIPS

Ten Hot Tips For Those Who Are Gracefully Greying                  

 

1. Wills

Do you have a will?  Even a simple will is important so that you can make sure that your loved ones receive what they should when you pass away.  So many celebrities have passed away without any will which causes countless problems.  You don’t want to be like Elvis, Prince or Aretha Franklin.  Estate contests are expensive and unnecessary.  There is an old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

 

2. Guardians

Having a personal representative or guardian who you can trust is critical.  It should normally be a close family member or friend.

 

 3. Estate Planning

A good estate plan should include specific bequests.  This is to make sure that jewelry or other heirlooms are passed on to the right relative or friend.   Charitable contributions should also be listed.

 

4. Trusts

Trusts can be important if you have an estate that needs more than a simple will.  Talk to an attorney who is experienced in the area of estate planning for sound legal advice and possible representation.

 

 5. Assets & Tax

If you have substantial assets tax issues can be important as well.

 

6. Medical Wishes

Have a medical directive as part of your estate plan.  This is to make sure that your wishes are carried out should you have a terminal illness.  Do you want all medical treatment to be carried out?  Do you want to be allowed to pass away without extreme medical intervention?  These are issues to think about and discuss with your family members.

 

 7. Finances

Talk to your family members.  Discuss your desires regarding an estate plan and other issues.  Make sure that your family members or financial advisors understand your needs and desires.  Talking about finances and the ultimate can be difficult but delaying them can have serious consequences.  You want to take charge of your finances and wishes so that you and your estate are properly protected.

 

8. Burial or Cremation

If you have certain instructions for your funeral and burial or cremation make them known in writing before it is too late.  Putting this into your estate plan will be too late.  Write a letter expressing your wishes on some of these issues and make sure that your loved ones are aware of.

 

 

 9. Power Of Attorney (POA)

Have a durable power of attorney to make sure that you have someone you trust to assist and, in some instances, handle your finances if you are no longer able to do so.

 

 

10. List Your Passwords, Insurances, etc.

Prepare a letter that lists, all of your investments, assets and any debts and have copies of financial statements with this letter so that it is easy to know where everything is in case something happens to you.  Share this with your relatives or someone you trust so that everything is transparent.  Have deeds and car titles with this list as well.  Include any passwords for your computer accounts as well as any banking information including safe deposit boxes. 

Any insurance policies or pension information should also be included.  You don’t want your loved ones to go on a treasure hunt after you are gone.

 

These ten tips can save you and your loved ones a lot of grief if they are properly handled.