As people age, new challenges arise – even for issues they thought were already taken care of. For example, many people create estate plans when they’re younger, usually when they first have children, and then leave those plans untouched for several years. During that time, changes occur, and the initial plan might not be suited for your current situation. This is especially true as children age and loved ones pass away as these changes could have a serious impact on the effectiveness of your estate plan. Here are some considerations you should think about for your estate plan:
Last Will and Testament
Most people create a Last Will and Testament when they’re younger to ensure they have a say in who takes care of their children in the event they pass away. This is no longer a concern when the children are grown, however, so it’s a good idea to look at your Last Will and Testament in light of your changed situation. You may want to leave behind a legacy for your kids as well as your grandkids, or perhaps you want to leave something behind for a close niece or nephew. It could even be that you’d rather have your entire estate go to charity. It’s up to you, but keep in mind that the choices you made back when you first created your Last Will and Testament may not apply now to your current situation.
Power of Attorney and Living Will
The Power of Attorney and Living Will let others act on your behalf for financial and healthcare concerns, respectively, if you ever become incapacitated. In both cases, you should take a look at who you named as your agents in both documents and ensure that they’re still the right choices for now. People who create an estate plan when they’re younger sometimes name their parents or siblings on their documents, but when they’re older, those are probably not the best choices. Instead, most seniors will name their adult children to make those decisions for them if they’re incapacitated. You can also decide if you want one agent to take the lead or if your agents must work together. It’s also a good idea to re-examine the choices you made regarding your healthcare as your mind may have changed over the years about the type of care you want to receive.
If you’d like to have your existing estate plan updated to meet your current medical needs, please contact our Elder Law office at 877-653-3450 to schedule a complimentary initial consultation.