Although the term estate planning strictly focuses on the documents and legal process governing the transfer of assets after death, this term can also be broadened to include general late-life planning. Together, these two areas of focus fall under the umbrella of “elder law.” Our Estate Planning Lawyer Chesterfield MO can help in your late-life planning.
While you are writing wills and creating trusts to secure your assets, you may also want to be thinking about the kinds of issues you may face late in life – financial, physical, and cognitive.
Avoiding Family Conflict and Estate Litigation
The last thing that most people want is for their families to quarrel over assets left behind in an estate plan. The clearer you can be in your will and other documents, the less likely this will happen.
Unresolved inheritance issues can quickly escalate into litigation. And in addition to being stressful for all involved, litigation is expensive. The money you save doing DIY estate planning is negligible compared to how much money could be lost in a lengthy legal battle. And estate funds are often those used to pay for litigation.
Your Estate Plan Can Serve as a Fond Farewell
An estate plan is a great way to take care of your loved ones after you pass away. Giving your family inheritance with minimal estate taxes, minimal probate, and minimal hassle is a wonderful way to show how much you care. Moreover, good estate planning also allows you to leave a legacy by making sizable donations to organizations and causes you care about. Additionally, our Estate Planning Lawyer in Chesterfield MO can help ensure that you have a power of attorney and advanced healthcare directives in place to ensure that your wishes are respected if you are incapacitated by illness or injury.
Planning Medical Care and Incapacity
Americans live much longer than in the past, but the quantity of life isn’t the same and quality. Unfortunately for many, advanced age comes with cognitive and physical decline. That’s why it is so important to prepare for a scenario in which you may become unable to make or communicate important decisions independently.
There are three tools you can implement now in case of physical or mental incapacity. They include:
Appointing durable power of attorney: This is the act of designating someone you trust to make important decisions on your behalf if you become unable to make or communicate them yourself. Usually, these decisions are related to your finances, assets, and living arrangements.
Appointing a medical power of attorney: This is the act of designating someone you trust to make medical decisions if you become incapacitated. In both cases, designating a power of attorney allows you to choose an agent to act on your behalf (if it ever becomes necessary) rather than a court-appointed guardian.
Making an advance directive or living will: This document lays out your wishes for end-of-life medical care, including whether or not you want to receive lifesaving or life-sustaining treatments. Your medical power of attorney should be very familiar with this document and your medical wishes generally so that any decisions not already specified in the document can be made in your best interests.
Power of attorney and advance directives are important ways to help you direct your late-life medical care and other vital decisions before there is ever a question of incapacity. We can help you with all three as part of a larger estate plan. Contact our Estate Planning Lawyer in Chesterfield MO. At Legacy Law Center, we have a professional estate planning lawyer who is ready to guide you and plan your later life together.