One survey found as many as 68 percent of Americans have no will written. It’s likely that number is even higher for naming medical or financial power of attorney.
Any elder law lawyer would tell you about the many risks associated with not preparing important estate documents for yourself.
So, what advice would an attorney specializing in elder law give to you? What should you have arranged before you reach senior citizen status?
Read on to learn about some mistakes you can avoid with a little planning.
Doing No Planning
Every elder law attorney around will say the biggest mistake you can make is doing no planning at all.
You spend a lifetime creating a life, buying a house, even building wealth. Perhaps you have investments. You need to have a plan for what will happen with your house, finances, and assets.
You want to be clear about your medical wishes and who should make them for you if you’re unable.
No matter how long you’ve delayed or put off doing important planning for your senior years, it’s never too late.
Only Preparing a Will
Many people assume if they have a will written, they are all set. While, of course, it’s smart to have a will. It helps your heirs avoid probate, it isn’t enough.
A will is only in effect at death. Many seniors reach a point in their life when they need assistance with certain matters, such as paying bills and making medical decisions.
There’s certain paperwork you’ll need if you want other people to have the authority to help with these matters.
Durable Power of Attorney
One important part of planning for the future is considering naming a durable power of attorney. You need a durable power of attorney that has the authority to make many decisions on your behalf.
You also want to discuss a medical proxy or health care directive. You want to have a designee to make decisions if you’re unable to make them for yourself.
Talk to the elder law attorneys at Smith Barid about creating the necessary power of attorney paperwork for you and your loved ones.
Relying on Medicare for All Future Care Needs
Medicare provides important medical care for seniors through the US government.
The problem many seniors and families face is they assume Medicare will cover things it doesn’t really cover. Medicare does provide important medical insurance for seniors.
It doesn’t pay for in-home care when seniors start to need more help. It also doesn’t pay for long-term health care in a nursing home or assisted living.
Not planning for these possible eventualities puts many families in the spot of making challenging decisions.
Get the Advice and Expertise From an Elder Law Lawyer Today
Choosing an elder law lawyer is an important step for planning for the future. The right elder law lawyer will be able to explain all the things you need to make sure you or a senior you love is covered and protected legally.
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