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It is an interesting fact that many individuals in Maryland and across the country are living to older ages. In addition to longer life spans, many individuals are also living their lives with chronic illnesses for which there are now treatments that can prolong life. However, individuals could still become incapacitated due to these illnesses or other issues and, as a result, creating an estate plan and naming a power of attorney to handle finances may be prudent.

When determining who may be a wise choice as a power of attorney, it may be important to consider more than one person. In many cases, parties who are married may simply name their spouses to act as legal agents, but there is a chance that those individuals could divorce or that one spouse could die or become incapacitated as well. Therefore, naming an additional person may be worth considering.

Additionally, making these plans ahead of time could help reduce the risk of financial fraud or other issues later on. After choosing a power of attorney or other legal agent, individuals may wish to provide them with information on their normal spending habits. That way if an individual develops memory issues or otherwise becomes incapacitated, the agent or agents will know whether any abnormal purchases are taking place or whether important payments may have lapsed.

Naming a power of attorney is a step that could save individuals from serious issues in the future. However, it is important that the agents are chosen with care and consideration in order to ensure that wishes will be respected and that the role will not be too overwhelming. Information on creating an estate plan and naming power of attorney agents could help Maryland residents feel more secure in their futures.

Source: Forbes, "The Most Important Estate Planning Issue Boomers Need To Address", Kelley Long, May 8, 2016

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