Gaping Hole Number 2: No Personal Legal Documents
Most young people I encounter aren’t even thinking about this when they think of personal financial planning or when they are preparing for a meeting with a financial advisor. Not being married, and not being a minor, you do not have a clear cut line to a decision maker if you were to become ill and incapacitated.
Two documents to consider, are 1. a durable power of attorney: a document which appoints someone as your financial decision-maker in case you are incapable (coma, etc); and 2. health care proxy (or equivalent) which would appoint someone as your medical decision-maker if you are incapable.
You should also make sure, if you are a homeowner, that you look into declaring a homestead on your home which, could protect your assets from creditors under certain circumstances.
Furthermore, consider a will if you have personal possessions.
Action Plan for Legal: consult with a qualified attorney who focuses on estate planning and personal legal planning. Some states have very specific rules that require specific language in legal documents – cookie cutter “docs” may not cut it in some cases. For homework before visiting an attorney, think about who you’d like to choose to make medical and/or financial decisions for you. And consider “back-up” names too!
I hope you enjoyed this article. As you can guess, I am a comprehensive financial advisor in the Boston area -specifically in Medford, Massachusetts. I also spend time and serve clients in the San Francisco bay area (right in SF), Maine and Florida.
We work with a number of qualified estate planning attorneys in multiple states and would gladly review your situation and possibly provide a referral. If you are exploring a financial planning strategy, feel free to send us a quick contact or call us at 781.393.0021. Thank you!
For Gaping Hole Number 1 Click HERE
For Gaping Hole Number 3 Click HERE