Healy & McCann, PC

Albany Legal Issues Blog

Divorce concerns for folks over 50

Several studies have found that divorce rates for people over age 50 have doubled over the last two decades. The trend has become so prevalent across the nation it has its own name – “gray divorce.”

In some ways, gray divorce is more straightforward than divorce for younger couples. Child custody and support, often a contentious issue, comes into play far less often for couples nearing retirement. However, there are important financial concerns to bear in mind, especially when it comes to retirement accounts.

The role of a durable financial power of attorney

Some people in Oregon may want to use a durable financial power of attorney as part of their estate plan. This document appoints someone to manage a person's finances if that person becomes incapacitated.

It differs from a medical power of attorney, which appoints someone to handle medical decisions in the event of incapacity. It also differs from a regular power of attorney, which could become invalid from the moment a person becomes incapacitated. Without a durable power of attorney, a family may have to go through a stressful and expensive legal process to have someone declared incapacitated. There is also a "springing" power of attorney that takes effect when a person becomes incapacitated. However, this may require a doctor's certification that the person is incapacitated, so it could also come with delays.

Digital assets and estate planning

Oregon is one of several states that has adopted the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, but this does not mean that a person still does not need to take steps to deal with digital assets as part of an estate plan. Digital assets may include email, photographs, subscriptions, memberships, web sites, social media accounts and more.

Estate planning for digital assets is still very new. There are several issues that may crop up when determining who should have access to the deceased's online content and accounts. The terms of service for some companies do not permit it even if a person is given a password and permission to do so. The UFADAA is an attempt to address some of the issues around access to digital assets, but even in states where it is in place, the person who is doing the estate planning must take some additional steps.

Should you have a will?

Do you have a will? If you’re like most Americans, People put off wills for multiple reasons, including being too busy or not wanting to think about their own death. While a will is about you, it’s almost equally about the loved ones you leave behind.

In fact, you may be more of a candidate to create a will than you think.

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