One of the major reasons why you should seek out personalized attention from a licensed estate planning attorney is because there are some minute details that you may not consider. Some of them are going to be naturally relevant to you, and others could be if you are aware of the possibilities. We will provide some clarity in this post.
Latter Life Decision-Making
People naturally think about the events that will take place after they pass away when they are involved in their getting their affairs in order. This is well and good, but you should also take control of circumstances that may befall you before your time is through. Yes, these are not the most pleasant things in the world to contemplate, but they are facts of life nonetheless.
Most people would prefer to pass away after being fully capable on the previous day, enjoying life to the fullest. Unfortunately, this is rarely the way it works. Individuals generally die after being sick, and many of them have reach an advanced age.
Professionals within the geriatric community use the term the “oldest old” to describe people who are 85 years of age and older. A very high percentage of these people will not be able to make sound financial and medical decisions on their own toward the end of their lives.
There are different causes of dementia and other forms of incapacity, but Alzheimer’s disease sits squarely at the top of the list. It strikes one out of every 10 senior citizens, and the percentage grows as you get older. Approximately 32% of the oldest old have contracted this horrible disease, which is actually the sixth-most lethal killer that we have here in the United States.
If you do nothing to prepare for incapacity, the state can be petitioned to appoint a guardian to act on your behalf, and you would become a ward. The person who is chosen to act for you may not be someone who you would have chosen yourself, and this is one drawback. Secondly, people in your family may disagree with regard to the right choice when a guardian is being selected.
To take the matter into your own hands in advance, you can execute some important incapacity planning documents. With a living will, you state your preferences regarding the use of life-sustaining measures, and you can add a durable power of attorney for health care to name a medical decision maker. These would be choices that have nothing to do with the utilization of life support.
The above devices are a must, but they must be augmented by another document called a HIPAA release form. This will allow members of the medical community to release your health care records to people of your choosing so they can make the right choices on your behalf.
For financial decision-making, you can include a durable power of attorney for property. Plus, if you utilize a living trust as the centerpiece of your estate plan, you can name a disability trustee to act as the estate administrator if you ever become unable to manage the trust on your own.
Pour Over Will
You may pass away with property still in your direct personal possession if you are using a revocable living trust as your primary estate planning tool. To account for this, you can add a pour over will that would allow the trust to assume ownership of this personal property.
Letter of Final Instruction
Your executor or trustee is going to have to identify and inventory resources, and this can be challenging, especially when you consider online accounts. A letter of final instruction can be included to provide the administrator with the appropriate information.
Take Your Knowledge to Another Level!
We go the extra mile to share some very useful information on this blog, our special reports, and the other resources on this website. At the same time, we also provide educational opportunities in the flesh.
That’s right, we offer workshops, and there is no charge to attend these valuable information sessions. To see the schedule and obtain registration information, click this link, and if you have questions, we can be reached by phone at 913-262-2000.