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The Heritage Law Center, LLC Blog

How Seniors Can Make It Easier on Their Kids

POSTED ON: August 13, 2019

As a senior, you can help make things a lot easier on your adult children by doing the proper estate planning. Without this planning, the added burden of trying to figure out how to handle difficult situations at the last minute will likely fall on your children. So, what does the plan entail?

Prepare for the possibility of disability.
No one likes to think about it, but it’s best to be prepared just in case you become incapacitated or unable to make your own decisions. If you become incapacitated and don’t have the documents listed below, your children would likely be put in the position of trying to scramble to figure out solutions, which would take time and possibly even money.

  • A durable power of attorney allows a person you trust to control your business, legal, and private matters on your behalf.
  • A health care proxy specifies who you choose as the person allowed to make medical decisions for you while you’re living, in case you’re in a situation where you aren’t able to communicate your wishes, such as a coma or prolonged unconscious state.
  • A living will works in conjunction with a health care proxy by expressing your wishes as to how your designated agent should proceed in specific circumstances such as how and when you wish to receive medical treatment in the event of a terminal illness.
  • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) form allows medical professionals to share medical information about you with the person(s) you name on the form. If the health care proxy isn’t invoked (being used for legal purpose), you need a signed HIPAA form for someone to be able to speak to your doctors and access your medical information.

Protect your assets.
A good estate plan can protect your assets from creditors and avoid unnecessary taxation and other costs, leaving a higher dollar amount of assets for your children. Also, in the Boston area in 2018, approximate costs for assisted living were $5,850/month and $12,710/month for nursing homes. We can help arrange your assets to protect them from nursing home costs and qualify you for MassHealth assistance. By utilizing estate planning strategies, we can help protect your assets and quality of life, while saving your family significant money.

Document the distribution of your assets.
Clearly outline your wishes in a will and/or trust. This is the best way to leave your assets to your loved ones. Without clear documentation of your wishes, family fights over the inheritance can occur, which would create extreme discord among your children. A benefit of using a living trust instead of a will is that a trust doesn’t have to go through probate, which will save both time and money.

We can work with you to develop an estate plan that will protect you, your family, and your assets. Contact us at 617.299.6976 or mkarr@maheritagelawcenter.com, and we’ll make a free, no-obligation initial consultation appointment.