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A guide to choosing estate planning tools for elderly parents

On Behalf of | Aug 15, 2023 | ELDER LAW - Estate Planning

Anyone can start estate planning at any age. However, when an individual starts growing old and entering the elderly phase of their lives, estate planning becomes more significant. They start to worry about what will happen to their loved ones and properties when they die.

Estate planning can be overwhelming, especially for those new to the concept. The following information can help one navigate their estate planning journey.

How to know what documents to include in the plan?

One of the advantages of estate planning is that individuals have control over it, sometimes with the aid of a competent legal professional. There is no fixed way to know what an individual should put in their plan since each case is unique. Nonetheless, there are factors that most estate planners usually consider when deciding on which documents to create.

One common and essential consideration is the estate planner’s goals and priorities. Are they concerned with how their assets will be distributed? A will or trust can be a good option. Are they worried about their medical care in case they become terminally ill? Perhaps they should consider an advance medical directive.

Other factors at play include the estate planner’s available properties, any transfer-on-death assets, potential estate taxes, minor children as heirs and so on. Ultimately, one’s estate plan will depend on personal circumstances and factors.

When in doubt, ask the following questions

If an individual does not have a clear outline of their goals and priorities, asking themselves the following questions may be helpful with the process:

  • What properties do I have?
  • How do I want my properties to be distributed?
  • Who do I want to receive my assets?
  • Do I have available documents that might conflict with estate planning tools, such as prenuptial agreements and transfer-on-death deeds?
  • How can I protect my assets in case I become disabled or mentally incompetent?
  • What do I want doctors to do if I become terminally ill or fall into a coma?

These are only some of the questions a person can ask themselves when deciding on their estate planning tools. It can be overwhelming at first, but with proper research and knowledgeable legal guidance, it is possible to create the most suitable estate plan.