Married couples need to have power of attorneys between themselves
Although most married couples own everything jointly, even married couples have assets in their individual names such as IRA's, 401k's, life insurance and social security. Therefore, even married couples need to have a durable power of attorney for financial affairs between themselves.
Attorney Tom Olsen: Michael, you're on News 96.5. Go ahead. Michael: I have a quick question. My sister-in-law's husband is in a hospital due to a tragedy, but he does not have her on any of the legal information like cars or anything like that. She has a very hard time with legal things in regard to stopping payment on cars, loans, and banking information. Attorney Tom Olsen: Yes, taking care of business. Michael: She has a very hard time doing anything because her name's not on anything. Attorney Tom Olsen: All right. Michael: She's trying to figure out what she can do or what's the process since she's not able to talk or anything. Attorney Tom Olsen: Well, ideally, he would be able to sign a financial durable power of attorney appointing his wife to take care of business in his stead. Is he competent? Michael: He can't do that. Attorney Tom Olsen: Because he is unconscious? Michael: He is not lucid. Technically, he just woke up yesterday and he's in and out very often. Attorney Tom Olsen: All right. Michael: I think what they're saying, he's not competent enough to know what's happening is the issue. Attorney Tom Olsen: Well, Michael, the next level up is a huge jump up for us, Michael. It’ll be a legal guardianship and I'm going to talk about that in just a minute. Considering how big the option is for the legal guardianship, I'm going to recommend that she hang on for a few days and hopefully he comes around and he would be lucid enough to sign a durable power of attorney for financial affairs. If this was really an ongoing problem and she's not getting anywhere with the durable power of attorney her next remedy would be a legal guardianship. Unfortunately, Michael, it takes about five weeks and $5,000 to set up a legal guardianship. It's big huge deal. Michael: Is there anything that would prohibit her from the getting the durable-- one that you’ve been speaking about if been baker acted? Attorney Tom Olsen: No, that would not help her in this situation. Michael: Okay. Attorney Tom Olsen: Michael, hopefully, he'll come around in a few days and she'll catch him in an opportunity where he could sign this durable power of attorney for financial affairs. Let that be a lesson to all people out there. Chrissy, you and I, we talk about avoiding probate workshops, one of the documents we think that everybody should have should be a durable power of attorney for financial affairs even between married couples. Chrissy: Exactly, and we talk about that and in our workshops as well as we talk to people over the phone and in person. That’s one of the things where we want to educate people to let them know no matter what your age and no matter what your status as far as married or single, you should have that. Attorney Tom Olsen: Yes, because most married couples own everything jointly, but even married couples have assets in their individual names, whether it's 401Ks, IRA, social security, automobile. They need to have these financial powers of attorneys between themselves as a first choice with their kids as a backup choice. Michael, we wish your brother-in-law a lot of luck in this situation and let us know if we can help.