Sunday, March 9, 2014

Useful Tips for Estate Planning With Your Senior

Regardless of the kinds of assets that your senior has, it’s necessary to devise an estate plan to make sure that their property and personal belongings go to the right people when that individual is no longer around. Though it may not always be a comfortable topic, the discussion is an important one for your elderly loved one and your entire family. When it comes to estate planning, keep these tips in mind:

Focus on who gets what

Carefully comb through your senior’s possessions and make sure they get specific about who gets what. This includes any cars, jewelry, and other items. This is especially important if your senior has a specific plan in mind for how they would like to see their property distributed. Elder care professionals recommend having this conversation early on so there is time to clarify wishes and ensure that everything happens exactly as your elderly loved one would like.

Get it in writing

In order to ensure that everything plays out according to plan, it’s important that your senior constructs a will. Without a formal will in place, the state can dictate what happens to that senior’s belongings. A will enables the elderly individual to place restrictions on division of property (for example, certain items will not be passed to a grandchild until they reach a certain age). Consider consulting with a professional when it comes to writing a will in order to ensure that the document is legally binding and thorough.

Make sure to update the document as necessary

If your senior hasn’t looked at their will in years, it’s important to have them give it another glance. Things can change over time, particularly if your elderly loved one has acquired or sold possessions. Make sure that they update the will regularly so that it adequately reflects their wishes.

Choose the right executor

An executor is someone who is responsible for distributing the senior’s assets and taking care of any outstanding debts. It is a significant responsibility, particularly if the estate is complicated. A senior can select a family member or a professional, such as a CPA, to handle this task. Though the subject matter may be uncomfortable, proper estate planning is essential in ensuring that your elderly loved one’s wishes are executed exactly as they would like.

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