Tuesday, April 14, 2015

2 Important Documents Every Couple Needs

Recently, we've been checking into wills, powers of attorney (POA) and other things needed to protect us should something happen to either or both of us. Not only for our protection, but also for our children's (our three dogs who would need to be cared for) sake, too. We recently met with our friend Stefanie, who is an attorney and does wills, POA, health proxies or powers of attorney. 

NEEDED FOR PROTECTION - We learned that domestic partners have virtually NO protection from an outside family member, even if estranged. An estranged family member can come into a situation where their sibling dies (and if a house is in the deceased sibliing's name only), the house can be taken away from the partner - who gets tossed on the street. (It's happened).   We know that places of business, even a hospital we went to, discriminate and although we are married, refused one of us to give health insurance for the other - that's why these documents are important! 

 Following is an article that appeared today in the Baltimore Sun, and Kiplinger Magazine, which explains at least 2 VERY important documents you'll need. We'll address some other things in the next couple of blogs. - Rob and Tom

2 Important Documents Every Couple Needs

By Sandra Block, From Kiplinger's Personal Finance, April 2015

It's especially important for unmarried couples to be prepared, but married couples (especially married gay couples) should also have 2 important documents.  All couples should have durable powers of attorney for finances and health care, but these documents are even more important if you and your partner aren’t married. 

WHAT IS A DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY? - A durable power of attorney gives you and your partner the authority to manage each other’s finances if one of you becomes incapacitated.  
WHAT IS A POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR HEALTH CARE? - A power of attorney for health care, sometimes referred to as a health care proxy, gives you the right to make medical decisions on your partner’s behalf if he or she is unable to do so (see 3 Simple Steps to Pick a Health Care Proxy).

Without these documents, you could be prohibited from making decisions on behalf of your partner, even if you’ve been together for years. A court may grant a family member authority to make decisions about your partner’s finances. “If you’re not married, you have no standing under the law,” says Lili Vasileff, a certified  financial planner and president emeritus of the Association of Divorce Financial Planners.

An estate-planning lawyer can help you draw up power-of-attorney documents for your state. Some banks and brokerage firms won’t honor power-of-attorney documents unless they meet certain conditions, so make sure the form you use will be accepted by your financial institutions. Both the power of attorney for finances and the health care proxy should be easily accessible in an emergency.

Read more at http://www.kiplinger.com/article/insurance/T027-C011-S002-2-important-documents-every-couple-needs.html#DuVwxGP9sYtpJws1.99

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next