According to a research by Caring.com, the number of adults aged 55 and older who have written a will has decreased from 60% to 44% since 2019. Although developing or revising your estate plan may appear to be a difficult undertaking, it may help you address the concerns you may have as a senior citizen.
Who Can Help Manage My Affairs?
It’s increasingly probable that as you become older, you’ll want assistance with your financial and medical concerns.
A financial power of attorney allows you to appoint someone you trust to manage your finances (sign checks, pay bills, file taxes, etc.). If you don’t have a financial power of attorney, a court will have to appoint someone to handle your finances on your behalf. This can require time and money, which may not be ideal during a crisis.
If you are unable to communicate or make healthcare choices for yourself, a medical power of attorney permits you to select a trusted individual to do so on your behalf.
Financial Help While You’re Unavailable
While you are out of town, a financial power of attorney allows your agent to handle financial affairs on your behalf. Although it may seem frightening to entrust your financial matters to someone else, remember that you may still act on your own behalf if you are able, and you can dismiss your agent if they make a choice you don’t agree with.
A trust is an excellent way to keep the money and assets you want to leave to your loved ones safe. You can choose someone to be in charge of the money and property, and give them instructions on when and how they should be utilized.
- Total distribution. The terms of the trust can instruct the trustee to distribute all of the money and property to your loved one or give your loved one the right to withdraw at any time.
- Depending on Age. You can dictate in the terms of your trust that a certain percentage be distributed to your loved one at different ages, such as one-third at age forty, one-half at age forty-five, and the remainder at age fifty.
- Reaching Objectives. If there are certain things you want your loved one to attain before receiving access to the money and property, you can instruct the trustee to distribute a certain percentage or amount once that milestone has been reached.
Let the Trustee Decide. If you are concerned about what your loved one may do with the money, allowing distributions to be made only at the trustee’s discretion is a good way to protect the money and property set aside for your loved one.