088: Incapacity Failures: Plan Ahead So Your Plan Works for You

Though it might seem like you’ve got everything covered within your trust document, estate planning is not just about what happens after you die. Issues can also arise in the event that you become incapacitated. Over the years we have seen all sorts of problems because not enough attention was paid to incapacity planning. If the current plan you have in place doesn’t make it quick and easy for others to step in and take over on your behalf, delays can cause your own health and well-being to suffer. It can also cause confusion and disagreement among family members leading to more time and money in court.

In this episode of Absolute Trust Talk Live, attorneys Kirsten Howe and Madison Gunn sit down to discuss the types of trust failures and challenges that may be experienced from a lack of planning for incapacitation. They will share some important documents and items that you need to include in your estate plan, as well as tips and strategies to make that plan work seamlessly for you and your family if someone else ever has to step in.

Some of the topics covered in this podcast include:

  • Why you should be putting ALL of your assets in your trust
  • How to work with banks to honor your power of attorney
  • The importance of refreshing a power of attorney every ten years
  • New legislation that impacts trusts after incapacitation

And more.

Whether you’re in the process of planning your own trust, or serving as trustee or beneficiary for someone else, this episode can help you anticipate unforeseen circumstances and avoid complications if incapacitation occurs.

Big Three from Episode #088:

  1. Estate planning isn’t just about what happens after you die. People don’t always think about planning ahead for their incapacitation, which, unfortunately, can create many problems for your family and those who need to take over.
  2. Assembly bill 1079, which was recently passed, requires trustees to notify beneficiaries if the trustor becomes incapacitated. This is designed to help limit elderly financial abuse.
  3. Working closely with your bank, including using their forms to delineate power of attorney, will make it simpler for them to honor when the time comes.

Time-stamped Show Notes:

0:00 Introduction

1:41 What are some ways you can avoid estate planning failures due to incapacitation? Listen in as Kirsten and Madison talk about some ways to do this.

3:23 How do you determine that someone is incapacitated, meaning they can’t handle their financial affairs or make medical decisions for themselves? It’s usually done through a court order. Here’s what you need to know.

7:24 Assembly bill 1079 was passed last year, which deems a trust irrevocable if the owner becomes incapacitated. Trustees now must notify beneficiaries if the trustor becomes incapacitated and provide accountings upon request. Press play to learn more about what this means for you and your trust.

11:06 It’s important to understand your responsibilities as a trustee following incapacitation. You have to follow the law and read the trust document carefully, but that’s not all.

12:57 When it comes to trusts, people assume that everyone in the family will do the right thing, but what happens if they don’t? This is why your trust needs to be specific. Listen in as Kirsten and Madison discuss a few different scenarios.

16:02 Gifting power, whether to charities, friends, or family members, is another area that should be specifically included in a trust ahead of time. Here’s why.

17:51 All people over the age of 18 should have a power of attorney for legal and financial matters. Why? Start listening now to find out.

18:10 Working with banks can be challenging when it comes to proving power of attorney. Here are some tips Kirsten and Madison recommend to make dealing with banks easier.

19:34 How often should you refresh your power of attorney? Every ten years is a good rule of thumb.

20:29 Some banks don’t like to work with multiple agents. Tune in here to find out why and how to find the right bank based on your wishes.

22:57 How can you make it easier for a bank to accept your power of attorney? Use their forms in order to expedite the process.

24:37 Need a way to make your dealings with the bank easier? Put your bank account and all of your assets in your trust to simplify the entire process.

25:31 Q&A: Can you have more than one power of attorney?

27:00 Q&A: What do you recommend doing if a bank refuses to honor a power of attorney?

29:00 Q&A: If someone has been serving as a trustee for the past few years for a parent, because the parent no longer has capacity, do they need to give the trustee notice now?

Resources/Links Mentioned in this Episode:

[Ad] Are you a resident of Walnut Creek or the greater East Bay needing help with incapacity planning or trust administration? At Absolute Trust Counsel, your family’s safety is our number one priority. We understand how complicated it can be to know if you’re making the right decisions, which is why we’re here to make things easier. Schedule a free discovery call, and let’s talk about how we can help you. Or, if you have a question about the content in this podcast, please feel free to get in touch with us by calling 925.943.2740 or sending an email to Info@AbsoluteTrustCounsel.com