SPRINGFIELD, NJ -- Why do I need a power of attorney? All of my assets are in joint names. Are they? What about the car? Is that in joint names? Your IRAs are definitely not in Joint names.

Someone may be named as beneficiary, but if you're disabled and money needs to be withdrawn from your IRA, only you can do it. With a power of attorney, that enables that agent to do it.

If you have a joint account with your daughter, let's say because she lives close by, and you die - she owns the entire account. Is she going to share that with her siblings? Maybe she's as "good as gold" and she will. But if she distributes more than $15,000 from that account, let's say to her brother, shew has to pay a gift tax. If she has a power of attorney, she doesn't own the account, and when you die it will go by the terms of your will. Joint accounts are not always beneficial

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When you are paying an attorney such as myself, you are not just paying for the creation of documents, you're paying for the advice - which I have thru years of studying and experience. I am going to craft it so it works well for you. There is no "one size fits all" solution.

When You're Ready, We're Ready.

Bob Bernstein,
Bernstein Estate Law LLC