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Social Security benefits are a core part of retirement or disability planning.  Anyone receiving Social Security distributions will want to make sure they continue receiving those benefits even if incapacitated or disabled.  In this article, we discuss both general incapacity planning and planning more specifically for an agent for your Social Security benefits.   A Power of Attorney is Vital   The Tarleton Law Firm specializes in helping people plan for managing finances during unexpected circumstances. One way we do this is through a power of attorney for finances, generally called a durable power of attorney. This legal document allows you to give an agent the power to handle your bank accounts and other financial assets.  This can be useful in many situations: trips out …

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Easter is almost here, so in that vein this week’s post looks at planning for a “nest-egg”. For most of us, that means talking about retirement accounts, whether using an IRA, SEP, 401k, or 403b. A budget for how to use retirement savings is good, but it is also vital to make sure retirement accounts are aligned with your overall estate plan. Retirement accounts can often hold the bulk of assets left to loved ones, so planning for a retirement account may, in fact, be the central focus of an estate plan. This also includes making sure you have a plan for access to your retirement savings if you ever needed help managing your finances during retirement.   RETIREMENT PLANNING & POWERS OF ATTORNEY   …

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Estate planning is often thought of as the process of planning for the transfer of assets to beneficiaries at death; however, a comprehensive estate plan takes into account your wishes for your care when facing cognitive impairment, ranging from normal age-related decline to complete incapacity.  The reality is that we all face an increasing chance of cognitive impairment as part of the normal aging process, but even young individuals could experience cognitive impairment or incapacity as a result of a medical emergency.  There are several key documents, discussed below, that should be in place for any adult to cover such circumstances.   What are the risks of failing to plan for incapacity?  Without the appropriate documents in place, it would be necessary for your family …

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Estate planning is essential for adults of any age, including new college students.  New college students look forward to the growing independence that comes with moving into a new dorm room or apartment, but parents and family are often still supporting the student as he or she explores new opportunities, such as study abroad or travel with a student group.  There are key documents and important information that a parent should have in case an emergency arises.   Legally an Adult.  Did you consider that once your child reaches age 18, you may no longer automatically make important medical or financial decisions on your child’s behalf?  Under Texas law, a person is legally an adult upon reaching age 18, and doctors and hospitals must respect …