I’m making my daughter my executor and power of attorney. How do I make things easy for her?
Make a list of your assets and liabilities like credit cards and mortgage, your accounts and their custodians – banks, brokers, benefits department – and your other relevant professionals – lawyer, accountant, financial planner, insurance agent. If you have online access to your accounts, make sure the passwords are available to her. Sit down with her now and go over your bills, your accounts, your assets and debts. I know that feels like you’re letting her invade your private life, but how else is she going to be able to take care of things when you’re unable? How can she pay your bills if she doesn’t know where your money is? It’s even worse if everything is online, because if your computer is encrypted, she might never find your stuff. If you don’t make the time now to at least make the list, she’ll spend hours and days trying to figure out how to take care of your affairs – hours and days while your bills go unpaid and your life is disrupted. Worse yet, she might have to hire professionals to help her find things, which will cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars. At least, make the list!
I’m starting a business and want to open an LLC. Should my spouse be an owner with me?
There are usually three issues we’re looking at: control of the business, passing the business when you die, and liability. While an LLC protects you from liability, it’s not a perfect shield, and the owner of the business can be liable in some circumstances. In Maryland, assets owned by both spouses as “tenants by the entireties” and retirement assets aren’t subject to the liabilities of just one spouse. So I usually advise that spouses don’t go into business together. You can be sure that the business passes to your spouse by “registering” your LLC ownership interest as “transfer on death” to your spouse – we can add that to your LLC Articles of Organization if you have us set up the LLC. And your spouse can be informally involved in the business without creating liability if your spouse isn’t actually signing paperwork.
Attorney Tim Barkley
The Tim Barkley Law Offices
One Park Avenue
P.O. Box 1136
Wills & Trusts | Estate Planning | Probates & Estates
Elder Law | Real Estate | Business Planning