What is estate planning for seniors?

On Behalf of | Jan 27, 2021 | Estate Planning |

As people age, they may start thinking more about their mortality. Elderly persons might worry about their families and take steps in the direction of estate planning. Ohio estate planning could occur at any age and regardless of net worth, but older persons might feel pressed to devise a will. And there may be other estate planning steps a senior might wish to consider.

Seniors and estate planning

A senior may wish to write a will. When a person passes away, someone must administer the estate. A will allows someone to name an executor and direct assets from the estate to persons named in the will. A will could also set other wishes the testator — the person writing the will — wants to be carried out.

As a person ages, his or her mental acuity might decline. Health issues could contribute to cognitive decline. Someone who becomes mentally incapacitated might not be able to make a valid will. If an incapacitated person does sign a will, heirs may have grounds to contest it. As such, someone might wish to avoid putting off writing or changing a will as he/she ages.

Additional estate planning considerations

A will isn’t the only document created during estate planning. Other contracts could address responsibilities for when the planner is still alive.

A living will and health care proxy or two other aspects of estate planning an older person should consider. Health issues could leave an older adult unable to communicate with doctors and other providers. A living will pre-establishes directives, and a health care proxy could move decisions to an agent.

Signing over power of attorney (POA) might be worthwhile, too. A trusted and knowledgeable agent may better handle financial and other matters. An agent with POA could pay bills and taxes and perform tasks for various accounts and responsibilities for someone else.

Estate-related documents must be valid under the law. Working with an attorney to craft them could be necessary. If the document isn’t valid, then it won’t have any use.

Estate planning for seniors might not only help write a will but also address other financial and health care considerations. An attorney could assist with writing such documents.