As seniors age, it's important to have a plan in place for their estate. This includes not only their financial assets but also their healthcare wishes and final arrangements. Here are five essential documents seniors should have in their estate plan:
Last Will and Testament
A last will and testament is a document that outlines how a person's assets will be distributed after their death. It also names an executor to carry out the instructions in the will. Without a will, the state will determine how assets are divided, which may not align with the senior's wishes.
A living trust is another way to distribute assets after death. Unlike a will, a living trust takes effect immediately and can be used to manage assets during the senior's lifetime. It can also help avoid the expense and delay of probate court.
Durable Power of Attorney for Finances
A durable power of attorney allows a trusted person to manage a senior's finances if they cannot do so themselves. This can include paying bills, managing investments, and making financial decisions.
Advance Healthcare Directive
An advance healthcare directive outlines a senior's healthcare wishes if they cannot make decisions themselves. This can include end-of-life care, resuscitation, and other medical treatments.
A final arrangements document outlines a senior's wishes for their funeral or memorial service. This can include burial or cremation, the type of service, and any specific requests.
In addition to these documents, it's important for seniors to regularly review and update their estate plans as their circumstances change. This can include changes in finances, health, or family relationships.
Contact the Law Offices of Leon J. Teichner & Associates, P.C. today to learn more!