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Should Wills be Updated Regularly?

by Chris Cooper, Financial Planning Expert
April 14, 2016

Question: I am a 75 year old man. Should I be updating my will regularly? If yes, why?

Answer: Any adult, age 18 and over should have a Will, a Durable Power of Attorney for financial and business matters & a health care directive (called a Durable Power of Attorney for healthcare in some states) and have them updated regularly. Why? Because “stuff happens”. 

The kind of stuff I’m taking about is changes in laws and changes in your personal circumstances.  Obsolete Durable Power of Attorney documents may not function when you need them to with the kind of accounts and property you own. The most common refusals of honoring Durable Power of Attorney documents come from IRA custodians, Title companies for real estate and life insurance companies involving annuities. (don’t forget the IRS!!)

So it is always a good idea than not to review and update legal documents, because you must have capacity (or be competent depending on your State’s laws) to make a Will or a Durable Power of Attorney or any other legal document   and not just because you are 75 years old.

Chris Cooper is the owner and founder of Chris Cooper & Company, Inc., a fee-only financial planning firm for elderly persons and the owner and founder of ElderCare Advocates, Inc. a private geriatric care management and long term care consulting firm. As a California Licensed Professional Fiduciary, Chris can serve as  Conservator of the Person and Estate under court appointment,  as Agent under a Durable Power of Attorney for Financial matters and Health Care matters.

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