When you first created your estate plan, your needs and goals may have been clear and straightforward. For example, you may have prioritized the care of your minor children, the distribution of your assets, and provisions for your surviving spouse when creating your plan. Aging can bring with it several estate planning issues that are unique to older generations. Fortunately, a modification to an existing estate plan does not have to be an overwhelming process.
5 Unique Aging Issues to Consider When Updating an Estate Plan
As you consider whether you may need an update to your estate plan, assess the following issues that are often important to older generations:
- Long-term care wishes. You may want to update your estate plan to ensure that your wishes for long-term care are clear. In some cases, you may also want to modify your estate plan more aggressively to protect your assets in the event that you require nursing home care. An experienced attorney can help you assess the pros and cons for these various options that are available to you.
- End-of-life care issues. As you age, your wishes relating to your end of life care may change. At a minimum, you may want to address these wishes more clearly and directly. Consider carefully issues such as stopping or starting life support, giving a loved one access to your health care records, and wishes relating to specific medical treatments that you may or may not want to receive.
- Changing families. Over time, our families may grow. Where you once had only one generation of beneficiaries, you may now find yourself with two or more. You may want your grandchildren and great-children factored into the division and distribution of your assets.
- Loss of a spouse. It is a tragic aspect of life that one spouse will typically outlive the other. Once the first spouse passes away, the surviving spouse should consider an estate plan modification given their unfortunate change in circumstances.
- Retirement. Once you have reached retirement age, it is time to enjoy the assets that you spent a lifetime creating. You may have sold your interest in a business or opted to change some of your investments as a result. When you reach retirement age, it is important to review your estate plan carefully to determine whether an update is necessary.
If you are ready for an update to your estate plan, we are here to help. We have helped countless other clients modify their estate plans as they age. We encourage you to view our client testimonials page to hear it directly from these individuals and families.