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Appoint a power of attorney sooner rather than later

There are few people who are closer to St. Paul residents than members of their immediate family. Families support each other through thick and thin, and know more about one another than any other person.

Unfortunately, however, even the closest of families can be unprepared for the inevitable. Many families fail to have discussions about estate planning issues, such as setting up contingency plans in the event of someone's incapacity. This can either be an oversight, or something that gets put off time and time again, until there simply is no time left to execute the necessary documents. Accordingly, individuals should strongly consider executing an estate plan that will protect themselves and their family members in the event of an incapacity or death.

One important estate planning document is a power of attorney, which gives another person the ability to control one's affairs in the event of incapacity. For financial decisions, it makes sense to appoint someone who is willing and able to handle money. In addition, the person should be someone who is trusted to handle these sensitive decisions.

The same is true for choosing someone to act under a health care proxy. Once again, a person making medical decisions on behalf of a loved one should be trusted and up to the task of making these important decisions.

The bottom line is that individuals should act sooner rather than later to implement the estate planning documents that will protect themselves and their loved ones. An important part of being family is supporting one another, which not only means stepping up to serve as a power of attorney when called, but taking the time to execute a power of attorney and discuss the decision with loved ones while there is still time.

Source: Yahoo! Finance, "The most important money conversation you're not having," Jeanie Ahn, Jan. 29, 2015

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