April 2014 – End of Life Legal Planning

 

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Getting It Done
DepressedSeniorMan
Most people don’t complete their legal planning.  They often intend to get to it but don’t get around to it.  Some think it will be too expensive so they try to do it themselves or pretend everything will be OK.  Unfortunately, that is not the case.  When someone does not have a healthcare power of attorney designated, they end up with no one to advocate for them.  If they don’t have a financial power of attorney, their financial affairs may go in arrears.  When they haven’t taken the time to indicate their end of life wishes in writing, they end up spending more in medical care and being at the mercy of others.  Without a Will or Trust document, a spouse may not have the support they thought they would have.  Legal planning is necessary and should be re-evaluated every few years to ensure any changes are being covered.
Key Legal Documents

End of Life Planning involves a number of documents that deal with what happens to you and your estates when you die.

  • Wills and Trusts
  • Power of Attorney
  • Living Will or Advance Directive
  • Advance Funeral Plan
  • Ethical Will

A well-designed Will controls the disposition of one’s property (estate) and cash assets at time of death.  These may include bank accounts, land, furniture, buildings, cars, stocks and bonds, proceeds of life insurance and pension plan benefits contained in the deceased person’s estate. The Will directs property transfers to a spouse, children or relatives and can ease the tax burden for the recipients.  It directs the probate court in the distribution of the property and payment of debts.  An ethical will is a letter written to survivors dispensing the wisdom of your life to be shared with them.


Thanks to attendees and exhibitors who participated in the Boomers & Beyond Expo at Queeny Park on April 8th.  The purpose of the Expo is to be a resource to seniors and to support the Meals On Wheels program.  Active Living was the theme and to that end there were tai chi demos, fitness events, and a talk on volunteering.  Thanks to our sponsors:  Signature Medical Group and Ameren.

The Area Agencies on Aging provide many services to assist seniors through the journey of aging:  care management, respite care, incontinent supplies and nutritional supplements, tax and legal assistance, senior centers, Meals On Wheels, transportation, Adult Day Center activities and more.  Check thewww.n4a.org website to learn about your local Area Agency on Aging.
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