Estate Planning Matters Before Death

When considering estate planning, many people understandably zero in on what should happen after death. However, an equally important part of estate planning considers what should happen towards the end of a person’s life. This is important, as one in eight Americans will deal with Alzheimer’s disease in their lifetime. Even more will deal with other forms of dementia. A recent article discusses some important estate planning steps everyone should take in preparation for incompetency.

    1. Select Decision-Makers: Once a person loses the mental capacity necessary to make financial and medical decisions, someone else will be required to make those decisions on his or her behalf. With planning, the individual can decide who this person will be. These decision makers are most often named through a durable power of attorney (for financial decisions) and a health care power of attorney (for healthcare decisions).

    2. Review Disability Insurance: Insurance is a very important part of estate planning. However, for many clients insurance simply isn’t an option. Either you are too old or too sick to qualify. In those instances, legal planning can succeed where financial products fail.

    3. Make Assisted Living Plans: Most individuals would prefer to live out their life in their own homes. In some cases, this is possible with advance planning. However, serious ailments may make this impossible. If assisted living or nursing home care becomes necessary, consider where you would like to receive this care, and put a plan in writing.