What senior citizens should consider in estate planning

Estate planning is important for all adults in Delaware, but it becomes even more important as you age. Although many people put off creating an estate plan for various reasons, it is important to recognize that having an estate plan will make things less difficult for your family. Even if you already have a will or a trust, there are a few other important documents you should have in case you become incapacitated.

Powers of attorney

First, you might want a power of attorney to appoint someone to take over legal and financial decision-making if you are unable to do so. You can specify the scope of power granted by this document. You may also want a document that appoints someone to make health care decisions on your behalf. This may be called an advance health care directive, a health care power of attorney or other names.

Choosing the right people

As part of your estate planning, it’s important to ensure that you choose the right people to make these decisions. They may be different people with different skills. For example, you might want the person who has financial power of attorney to be someone who is organized and detail-oriented while you may want the person who makes health care decisions to be compassionate and good at managing family conflict. This person does not need to have a medical background although this can help.

Some older adults may have estate plans that they made years ago and have not looked at since. It is important to review the plan regularly and update it as needed. This includes not just the will or trust and the above documents but any additional elements of the plan as well, such as beneficiary designations. An attorney may be able to help with reviewing an estate plan or creating a new one.