In trying to avoid probate, people can find themselves getting the opposite results.
Many people do not realize that probate courts handle more things than just wills and can't always be avoided, according to WLTX19 in "Man spends thousands in probate costs to help wife with dementia."
Consider the case of one elderly couple in Arizona. The wife suffers from dementia. She had a modest retirement account of $25,000. Her husband wanted to withdraw funds from the account to pay her medical bills. Before he could do that, he had to go through probate court to be appointed his wife's guardian and conservator. In the process, he incurred $6,000 in attorney's fees.
This unfortunate situation can often be avoided. Estate planning attorneys do more than just help their clients' estates avoid probate, after the clients pass away. They also help people plan for end-of-life care and what will happen should they ever become incapacitated and can no longer look after their own affairs.
An estate planning attorney can prepare a general durable power of attorney for you, that allows you to appoint someone to handle your finances, if necessary.
Reference: WLTX19 (Feb. 15, 2018) "Man spends thousands in probate costs to help wife with dementia."
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