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Three Important Documents Needed as you Age

Three Important Documents Needed as you Age

January 15, 2021

The older you are the more critical it is to have a Will, Powers of Attorney for both Health and Property, and a Trusted Contact Person, writes Peter Watson.

Today’s column is about the natural aging process and it comes with homework. Watch a movie.

The Father, starring Anthony Hopkins, is a story about a man in his early to mid-80s who has developed dementia. Declining mental ability is to a great degree related to your age.

The older you get the more likely your mental ability will decline.

Try and imagine yourself in that declining mental ability and then appreciate how important it is to have completed three simple documents.

One. Will.

A Will takes effect after you have passed. It outlines how you want to divide your assets. If your mental capacity has already declined significantly, then you no longer have the ability to create a Will.

Two. Power of Attorney for Health and Property.

A POA is used during your lifetime when you are no longer capable of making decisions on your behalf. You designate a person, or several people, to make these decisions for you.

A POA for Health covers decisions regarding your health, such as details of medical care and where you live.

The other POA is for Property. That includes financial decisions including paying bills, selling a house, or investments.

Three. Trusted Contact Person

This is a document you would likely give to your financial advisor. If the advisor suspects you are being stolen from or a victim of fraud, you give the advisor your permission to inform those named in the document.

Privacy laws are meant to keep your information private. This document gives the financial advisor your permission to inform somebody of a possible wrongdoing.

Think of your own experience with someone with reduced mental capacity. Seniors need assistance.

We recommend people of all ages, and particularly seniors, have these three important documents.

Peter Watson, of Watson Investments MBA, CFP®, R.F.P., CIM®, FCSI offers a weekly financial planning column, Dollars & Sense. He can be contacted through www.watsoninvestments.com