Having an estate plan is a great way to take care of your loved ones in the event of your death. But there’s more to estate planning than just a will and any related trusts. If you’ve been thinking about planning for your elder years, your estate plan can form the foundation of a solid elder care plan.
Isn’t Estate Planning Just About Wills?
It’s true that a will plays a large role in an estate plan. A will is a document you should have in your estate plan, so you can provide for your loved ones in the event of your unexpected death. And if you have a lot of assets, your estate plan might also contain trusts to help you distribute your assets to your heirs.
But while your estate plan is the ideal place for you to plan out how to take care of your loved ones in the event of your death, it’s also a good place to start thinking about your own elder care: how you want to be taken care of when you’re older and in need of care.
Planning for Your Elder Years in Your Estate Plan
There are a number of other documents you can incorporate into your estate plan as part of your elder law planning:
Financial power of attorney. With a financial power of attorney, you appoint someone to make decisions about your finances and your property. A financial power of attorney can be effective immediately, or for a specific purpose, or it can be drafted to come into effect if you become incapacitated and can no longer make decisions on your own behalf.
Medical power of attorney. A medical power of attorney typically comes into play when you become incapacitated and can no longer make your own medical decisions. The person you appoint as your agent under a medical power of attorney would then be authorized to step in and make healthcare decisions on your behalf.
Advance directive. n advance directive outlines your health care preferences in the event of end-of-life situations. When you have an advance directive in place, you can give your physician or other healthcare provider detailed instructions about the type of care and treatment you do and do not want in the event you’re no longer able to communicate your preferences to them directly.
Life insurance. Life insurance can also be a crucial part of your elder care planning. Many people think of life insurance as providing for their loved ones in the event of their death. But there are many types of life insurance that can also be drawn on to provide funds if you become chronically or terminally ill, or are disabled as a result of an accident.
You can begin including elder care planning in your estate plan by incorporating a number of documents that have the potential to play an invaluable role as you age. Contact a Springfield elder lawyer at Parks & Jones today to explore elder care options in your estate planning.
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