The Hokey Pokey and Your Financial Power of Attorney

SignatureDid you hear what happened when the composer of the Hokey Pokey died? They had a terrible time getting his body into the casket. Supposedly they put his right leg in and . . .

But we digress from a more serious topic: what the Hokey Pokey has to do with the document used when someone’s disabled.

Y’see, the dance worked best when people followed its directions. You did what it told you to do, which was simple. Nobody bumped into anybody else and the dance worked.

Where this is going: we review lots of Financial Powers of Attorney each year. We find that so many of them are missing a simple but required part. Not having this part in the document means the FPOA may be worthless – an impressive-looking document that is only good to ignite kindling. Read more

Don’t Let Your Pets Become Orphans

George was interviewed recently by Laine Sweezey, President of the Brook Run Dog Park Association, to be part of a newsletter article for the Brook Run Dog Park.  The article content appears below.

DogIt is shocking how often I receive heart-breaking pleas to help find homes for pets whose owners have died or have become incapacitated. According to the website of the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), “… approximately 5 to 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide each year, and approximately 3 to 4 million are euthanized (60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats). As a responsible guardian, it is important to think about who would care for your pets in the event of your inability, illness, or even death, and to implement a plan to prevent your pets from ending up in a shelter where their future remains uncertain.” Read more

Three Reasons You Still Need a Will, Regardless of the Estate Tax

FamilyWe heard so much about the “Fiscal Cliff” a few months back, and after all that talk and all the headlines, for most people, the change in the Estate Tax didn’t really change a thing — you still need a Will. Here’s why.

1. The Estate Tax doesn’t decide who raises your children.
We hear it all the time: “I don’t have any assets so I don’t need a Will.” But you do have children, and the change in the Estate Tax isn’t going to name guardians to take care of them if something happens to you.

When both parents die, the Georgia Probate Court will look to see who the parents named as guardians for their children in their Wills. If there are no Wills, then the Probate Court decides who will raise them.

Even if you aren’t sure about the person you choose, you are going to make a better informed choice than a Judge who never met you, and won’t meet your children, your in-laws, siblings, and parents until the Probate Court hearing where they’ll be fighting it out. Read more