This Year, Resolve to Make a Plan

Filed under: Estate Planning

On New Year’s day, you might have made a resolution to lose weight, organize your home, or pay off your debts. If so, we wish you luck and success! But you should also consider making a resolution to plan for issues that might arise as you get older.

Keep in mind that the current lifespan for the average American man is 84.3, and for women the life expectancy is 86.6. These numbers will probably continue to increase over time. They’re also just averages; today, 1 in 4 65-year-old people will live past 90, and 1 in 10 will live past 95.

In other words, there is a good chance you’re going to live a very long time! That’s good news, but the bad news is that a longer lifespan means a greater chance of encountering some type of disability or incapacity in those later years.

As you put together a plan for aging, consider the following points:

  • How will you pay for everything? You might need in-home nursing care, or specialized care in a facility.
  • How much responsibility will be placed on your loved ones? Many middle-aged and older people find themselves caring for an aging parent, and the financial and emotional costs can be considerable. How can you alleviate some of this burden?
  • What are your wishes in the event of your incapacity? When you can’t make your own medical decisions, what do you want and who should make the final call?
  • Who should manage your finances? Should it be the same person who handles your medical decisions, or someone else?
  • How do you want your assets distributed after your death? Are there any special items that you want certain people to inherit?
  • What are the tax implications of your passing? How will this affect your heirs?
  • What are your burial and funeral wishes? Keep in mind that telling someone isn’t good enough; they could forget, become incapacitated, or struggle to make clear decisions while grieving.

These are just some of the important questions you should ask yourself as you put together a plan. Typically, if you’re over age 50 you should start to consider these points and meet with an estate planning attorney for expert advice. However, younger people, particularly those with children, should have a plan in place as well.

Call us to schedule an appointment, and reap the benefits of having an experienced estate planning attorney on your side. No matter what other goals you have set for the year, putting together a cohesive plan for aging should be on your agenda for 2016.

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