Aging brings its own legal challenges and issues. Medical problems, medical care and property distribution after death are all areas where taking steps now can save your loved ones a lot of time, money and heartache.
Here are three things that all adults—but especially older adults—should consider having.
An Advanced Health care directive
An advanced health care directive (sometimes called a “living will” or a ”health care directive”) is a legal document that can:
- Specify whether you want to be an artificial life support if you become permanently unconscious or are otherwise dying and unable to speak for yourself.
- Name somebody to act as your designated health care decision maker (if you don’t already have one.)
Long-term care insurance
70% of all Americans will need long-term care at some point after they turn 65. Health insurance, which is usually employer based, isn’t designed to cover long-term care costs.
Long-term care insurance is designed to cover long-term care services and support, such as:
- Alzheimer’s care
- Nursing home costs
- In-home nursing
- Assisted daily living costs (bathing, eating, dressing, housework, etc.)
Like any insurance policy, how much long-term care insurance covers will depend on the policy that is purchased.
For more information, visit the Administration on Aging’s website, www.aoa.gov or
If a person dies without a Will, they are said to have died “intestate.” If you die intestate, here is what can happen:
- A court looks to “intestate succession laws” to decide how and to whom your assets will be distributed.
- Your heirs are powerless to change the Court’s decisions.
- Your heirs are powerless to fight for what you wanted, even if you verbally told everybody how you wanted your assets distributed.
For the most part, any person eighteen-years-old, or any emancipated minor of sound mind may make a Will. The term “sound mind” means someone who is competent to make contracts and perform all of his or her civil duties; and who has not been deemed incompetent in a prior legal proceeding.
- There are several websites which can produce simple wills for little or no money.
- You can also hire a probate attorney.