• Question
  • If someting happens to me does my wife have to move? How do you take care of repairs?

    Asked by a 71 year old man from Wichita, KS on 3/12/2013

    If someting happens to me does my wife have to move? How do you take care of repairs?

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  • Categories: Retirement Planning, Estate Planning

Answers

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  • The answer ultimately depends on your particular situation. Generally speaking, there are several basic things you should make sure to review if your concern is to make sure your wife has what she needs should something happen to you.

    First, make sure you and your wife each have at least these basic estate documents in place: a will, power of attorney, medical power of attorney and directive to physician (for life support decisions). The power of attorney allows you to name someone to typically take care of financial matters for you, if you are still alive, but cannot. Initially, this could be your spouse, but also another trusted family member or trusted friend. The medical power of attorney is similar, but specifically to designate someone now who you trust to make medical decisions for you, if you cannot. Any board certified estate attorney can help you draw up what would be appropriate for you and your wife.

    Second, review your income and expenses and make sure each of you know what your monthly cash flow looks like today and what would happen if one of you were no longer around. Would the survivor's income fall? Would expenses decrease? Are there enough assets to draw from for income to make up the difference?
    There may be additional resources to help pay for necessities and possibly free up funds for repairs depending on whether you or your wife would qualify. This link is a good place to start looking into what might be available currently or if something should happen, http://www.newretirement.com/Services/Low_Income_Benefits.aspx. If you qualify, there may also be deductions or assistance for what would be deemed medically necessary upgrades to your home.

    And make sure you have named beneficiaries for any retirement or annuity accounts you may have to avoid potential delays, unnecessary taxes or other expenses.

    Third, review your life insurance. Is it enough to provide for final expenses, pay off debts and provide additional cash flow for your wife?

    Fourth, does your wife want to move and have you discussed these issues with your family? Sometimes a reverse mortgage can provide additional income if necessary, especially if there are no plans to bequeath your home (though paying back a reverse mortgage is also an option).

    Reviewing these set of questions may be the first steps you and your family can take to help you make and execute a plan of action.

    This answer is provided as general information only and provided by Master’s students pursuing a degree in Personal Financial Planning at Texas Tech University. No warranty is made regarding the fitness or accuracy of the information provided in this answer. You should seek advice from a licensed CPA, attorney or Certified Financial PlannerTM as to your unique financial situation.

  • Login to rate this answer:   Answered on 5/17/2013
**All above answers are provided as general information only. No warranty is made regarding the fitness or accuracy of the information provided in this answer. You should seek advice from a licensed CPA, attorney or CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ as to your unique financial situation.