As a senior citizen, it’s vitally important that you have an estate plan in place. Not only can you use an estate plan to leave assets to your loved ones, but an estate plan allows you to identify who will make certain important decisions on your behalf should you ever become unable to do so on your own. In this article, we examine some important estate planning documents for seniors.
Last Will and Testament
A last will and testament is probably the most popular estate planning document. A law will and testament outlines who will get your property after you die. A will also allows you to choose a personal representative to take specific actions related to your estate, including distributing your assets, paying your final bills, filing your final tax return, and closing your accounts.
Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney designates one or more people to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf should you ever become incapacitated. One of the benefits of a durable power of attorney is that it makes things easier for your family. Without a durable power of attorney in place, however, your family may have to waste time and money going to court to seek the appointment of a conservator to handle your affairs.
A revocable trust is another powerful estate planning tool. With a revocable trust, you can manage your assets during life and distribute your remaining assets after death. As opposed to a non-revocable trust, you may modify or terminate a revocable trust during your lifetime.
Health Care Proxy
A health care proxy is like a durable power of attorney in that it designates a person to make decisions on your behalf should you ever become incapacitated. Unlike a durable power of attorney, however, a health care proxy isn’t related to your finances. Rather, a health care proxy allows a person you name to make health care decisions on your behalf.
A Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) release is another health-related estate planning document. As explained above, a health care proxy authorizes someone to act on your behalf for health care matters. However, it only allows you to appoint one person at a time to do so. A HIPAA release, however, gives health care providers permission to share your personal health information with anyone you choose.
Contact a Florida and New York Estate Planning Attorney
As a senior, you need an estate plan. However, in order to draft the most effective estate plan possible, you need an experienced Florida and New York estate planning attorney on your side. At the Law Office of Angela Siegel, we provide comprehensive estate planning services to senior citizens in Florida and New York. Attorney Angela Siegel is a knowledgeable and experienced estate planning attorney, and she routinely helps seniors in Florida and New York with their estate planning needs. Please contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.