Here’s what legal actions seniors should start taking now to plan for their future.
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Many believe that life gets simpler as you get older. But this isn’t always the case, especially when it comes to planning for the rest of your life.
The legal responsibilities for seniors are often overlooked until an event occurs that shines a spotlight on them. At that point, you might wish you’d spent more time planning and thinking ahead. A little forethought now can not only help preserve your finances but also lessen the burden and confusion for your loved ones in the event they need to act on your behalf.
Here are some of the legal steps you should take sooner rather than later:
A Living Will
A living will is an official legal document that shows your preferences for medical care in the event you’re unable to make those decisions for yourself. For example, if you were to be involved in a car crash and become unconscious, your family and physicians could refer to your living will to determine any medical treatments or procedures. It’s best to create a living will sooner than later. Once an event occurs, it’s too late to share your desires.
A Standard Will
Also called a last will, a standard will determines how to split up your property once you pass away. You can assign beneficiaries to your vehicles, home, financial assets, and other belongings. You’ll also name an executor to your estate who will be tasked with ensuring your will is carried out according to your terms. Just like with a living will, you should make this a top priority—none of us are promised tomorrow.
Organize Assets and Finances
Gathering bank statements, online banking passwords, account numbers, and other financial assets into a single location can be extremely beneficial for aging seniors. In the event you need someone else to handle your finances on your behalf, they’ll have access to everything they need.
Many seniors choose to add one of their children to their checking accounts to write checks for them. No one is legally authorized to access your bank account if their name isn’t on it. Doing so allows them to handle your finances in the event you become unable to. This can also give them access to funds to pay off any bills when you pass away without waiting to go through probate.
Invest in Long-Term Care Insurance
No one can predict the future with absolute confidence. While you may feel healthy for the time being, there’s always the possibility that you may need long-term care at some point. This is something that Medicare does not cover unless an individual needs medical care.
A long-term care insurance policy can be a way for you to receive home care and recover from an illness or procedure with greater peace of mind.
Seniors, take note—your legal responsibilities as you age are many, but they can be quickly handled with the help of a professional. Make these legal chores a priority now and gain peace of mind for the rest of your life.