As people grow older, their priorities change. A senior may worry about his or her health and eventual passing. Therefore, estate planning might become a critical process. Heirs and beneficiaries may deal with challenges that a proper estate plan could have eliminated. Older persons in New York may wish to consider many different estate planning facets and possibly update any current documents.
The broad range of estate planning to review
The most common document that comes to mind when discussing estate planning is a will. A will, of course, only addresses financial and other issues after someone passes away. For the living, giving someone power of attorney might help manage financial affairs while sick, infirmed, or even if someone wishes to decrease responsibilities.
Choosing an attorney-in-fact and signing a POA document affording the person such powers requires careful thought. An attorney-in-fact could act on the designator’s behalf on any financial matter. Hence, estate planning likely benefits from care and not haphazard actions.
Power of attorney has its limitations, though. A POA document does not award anyone the ability to make health-related decisions. Other documents do.
Health matters and estate planning
Health problems could plague someone who grows older. Unfortunately, certain conditions could leave someone unable to communicate or even wholly mentally and physically incapacitated. A living will allows someone to state directives to follow under such circumstances.
A health care proxy serves as an alternative to a living will. A designated proxy acts like an attorney-in-fact, but not with financial matters. Rather, the proxy makes health-related decisions on the grantor’s behalf.
In some instances, a declaration of incapacity might become necessary. Through this document, a loved one may be able to execute the declaration on a close relative’s behalf. Otherwise, the process may involve physicians and come with great costs.Dealing with doctors may add time to the process, possibly adding more stress.
Estate planning for seniors could become complicated, and speaking with an attorney might lead a client to make preferable decisions. An attorney may draw up the necessary legal documents per state law.