At our Brown Bag Lunch on Wednesday, September 17, Elder Law Attorney Katie Woods made a very important presentation on all of the documents that you should have in place NOW to be prepared when you are no longer able to handle your financial or health care decisions. A study done in 2010 showed that over $77 million per year is taken from seniors through exploitation. Over 50% of the perpetrators of these thefts are relatives of the victims.
WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW
- Plan early
Do your estate planning. Determine how your assets will be distributed. Write a Will. Consider creating a trust. Wills do not eliminate the need for probate. Trusts can help avoid probate; however, to be effective ALL titled assets must be properly transferred to the trust.
- Protect yourself when you can no longer manage your own affairs. Don't worry about hurting feelings.
- Appoint an agent to make financial decisions for you through a Power of Attorney document.
- Select someone you trust to give your Health Power of Attorney (Directives to Physician; Living will); declare end of life preferences such as life support, organ donating, etc
- Give a copy of your Living Will to your Physician and place in medical records in the hospital.
Because of various legal requirements it is advisable to seek professional assistance for all these documents.