As we all get older estate planning for seniors becomes more important as reality is that we don’t know when our final days are near. Having an estate plan will not just protect your loved ones but also help you make decisions for the future.
The Importance of Estate Planning for Seniors
Planning for your death, untimely or not, is a bit depressing. However, having an estate plan is important for seniors, so the wishes for their estate, funeral arrangements, and other affairs are met accordingly.
Thinking about the end and leaving your family is a sad but crucial part of estate planning. Remember that estate planning will make things easier for the people who are left behind. Make sure that there won’t be a family situation where your family members go to court over assets left by their parents. As a parent, everyone fighting over assets is not the state you want to leave your family in.
Having your wishes stated clearly will remove misunderstandings and will provide guidance for your beneficiary designations, living trust, and heirs. Keep in mind that if you have no estate plan in place, your state’s local laws will take into effect. This scenario can be problematic for your family, so having a will is the best gift that you can leave behind.
Aside from preventing unsavory disputes among families, good estate planning can also minimize the taxes and fees of your estate and assets. To ensure that everything is in place, it is best to seek advice from an experienced elder law attorney to ensure that all documents are in place and that you can make informed decisions.
How Seniors Can Start Planning for Their Loved Ones
Seniors can start their estate planning by seeking the help of a professional. After seeking advice from an estate lawyer, you can start giving instructions on how to go about your care if you become disabled in the latter part of your life. Loved ones will be at ease knowing that you had already planned for this event.
If you have a family member who’s a minor or someone with special needs, make sure to appoint a guardian who can manage their inheritance until they are of age. You can do this by having a power of attorney prepared ahead of time. Make sure to create and update your beneficiaries regularly on plans such as 401(k)s, life insurance, and IRAs, this way your living trust won’t encounter issues when the time comes.
You can also pre-plan for loved ones who might not be good with handling money. You can enact a safety net for them, so they won’t use all the money in one go. It is also a good idea to include life insurance in your planning so your family is taken care of even after your death. You can also prepare long-term care insurance so you get the best care in your final days.
Though it may be hard for some, you must plan your funeral accordingly. This can be done by setting up funeral arrangements. State everything to ensure that your wills are followed.
Another important thing that you must do is to name an executor of your will. This way you’ll have someone to oversee the terms of your will. This will ensure that you and your lawyer are on the same page of everything. Having a power of attorney is an important aspect of estate planning.
Once you are done with these, make sure to revisit your plan regularly. Estate planning is a continuous process and not a one-time affair. After all your financial, family situations, and existing laws may change over the course of your lifetime.