Every American should have a comprehensive estate plan in place. For seniors, the need for planning is heightened. If you are a senior and have yet to create a plan, there is no time like the present to do so. Understanding why an estate plan is so important should provide the motivation to get you started. The Indianapolis estate planning attorneys at Frank & Kraft explain what seniors need to know about estate planning.
Why Is Estate Planning Crucial for Older Americans?
When you reach your “Golden Years,” a wide range of things will change that could impact your estate plan. Failing to review and revise your estate plan to reflect these changes could completely derail the plan you took such time to create and update during your working years.
For most retirees, their income stream changes entirely when they reach retirement. Instead of living off a paycheck each month, you will be depending on Social Security, pensions, IRAs and other investments for your income. Now that you will be depending on some of your investments for your retirement income, you may need to make changes to the gifts you plan to leave your beneficiaries in your estate plan.
Another important reason for seniors to have a comprehensive estate plan in place is that when you reach retirement age you should have a solid Medicaid planning component in your plan. Medicaid planning is often the only way to ensure that you can afford to pay for long-term care if you need it down the road.
Finally, you need to spend as much time as necessary reviewing your incapacity planning strategies and tools within your estate plan. As a senior, the odds have increased that you could become incapacitated because of Alzheimer’s or another age-related dementia condition. As much as we do not want to dwell on the possibility, the reality is that one in three seniors dies suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. If you do become incapacitated at some point, who do you want to handle your assets and take overpaying your bills for you? Who should make medical decisions for you? What about personal decisions, such as where you will live? Now is your chance to make these decisions for yourself instead of a judge making them for you at a later date. You also have the opportunity, if you have yet to do so, to execute an advanced directive that will ensure your wishes are honored with regard to end of life medical care. You may also wish to execute a separate advanced directive that appoints someone as your health care “Agent” to make health care decisions for you if you cannot make them yourself.
As you enter your retirement years, it is more important than ever before to make sure your estate plan reflects your wishes with regard to your own protection, your assets, and your loved ones. If you have yet to create an estate plan, do not put off doing so any longer. If you have a plan in place, but have not updated your estate plan recently, make an appointment to do so in the very near future.
Contact Indianapolis Estate Planning Attorneys
For more information, please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you have additional questions or concerns regarding the need for estate planning as a senior, or if you are ready to get started on your plan, contact the experienced Indianapolis estate planning attorneys at Frank & Kraft by calling (317) 684-1100 to schedule an appointment.