When you reach your sunset years, your estate plan becomes more important than ever. Your estate plan will detail your wishes regarding a number of crucial financial and medical decisions. For example, who would you like to receive your assets and property after you pass away? If you become incapacitated, whom would you like to make pivotal medical decisions for you? How will you eliminate stress and complications for your loved ones after your death? Although these topics are not often pleasant to think about, you cannot deny their importance. For help, check out the tips below regarding estate planning for seniors.
Estate Planning for Seniors
It’s never too late to get started! It is best to create an estate plan in your younger years, so that you are always prepared for the future. However, if you haven’t already created one, it is certainly not too late! Consult with a lawyer experienced in estate planning for seniors, and begin creating these all-important legal documents.
Review and update your plan regularly. You never know when a life-changing event might happen. To prepare for the unexpected, meet with your lawyer regularly to review your estate plan and make any needed changes. This is especially important following important life events, such as a death or a birth.
Consider your options. Every estate plan is different, customized to suit the wants and needs of a specific person. Exploring these complicated documents can be overwhelming, so ask your lawyer for help. A basic will, for example, can accommodate a simple estate with cooperative heirs. Trusts, on the other hand, can effectively coordinate more complex estates, and they can also help you avoid probate (an expensive, stressful, and time-consuming process).
Discuss your plans with your family and friends. This may be tricky, but it is usually best to discuss your estate plan with your family and friends before it goes into effect. State your goals and ask your loved ones if they have any suggestions. In doing so, you can prevent future shock, anger, confusion, and even rivalries between beneficiaries. Plus, your loved ones might have some helpful advice regarding organization, legal details, and lawyers.
Don’t forget about powers of attorney. Sometimes people assume that estate plans are only used to dispose of an estate, but this is not the truth—you should never forget to include powers of attorney. A power of attorney authorizes someone to act on behalf of someone else. Typically this legal document is used to grant someone rights in a specific area, such as finances or healthcare. Be sure to set up a financial power of attorney and a healthcare power of attorney in case you become incapacitated.
Consider pre-planning your funeral. Not everyone is comfortable with this idea, but if you’re up for it, pre-planning your funeral can eliminate a lot of stress for your family. Put aside some funds to cover the expenses and decide what you would like to happen. In addition to practical details, you can make personal requests. For example, would you like a favorite song played? Or is there a certain prayer or poem that you would like recited?
If you’ve been putting off estate planning, don’t wait any longer! Your tardiness could have considerable consequences. Make a list of assets, goals, and beneficiaries, and contact your lawyer today.