Many clients believe that a power of attorney is unnecessary where most if not all assets are held jointly between spouses. If one spouse becomes incapable as a result of an accident, illness, aging or otherwise, the other spouse will not be able to deal with the incapable spouse’s assets without a power of attorney. The power of attorney would allow a spouse to deal with the incapable spouse’s pensions, taxes, bank/investment accounts. If the family residence is owned jointly or solely in the name of the incapable spouse, the other spouse will need a power of attorney to sell or mortgage the residence in order to downsize or use the funds to pay for the incapable spouse’s care.
Contact Sherri Robinson for more information or to set up an appointment to discuss your estate planning needs.