Estate Planning Baby Boomers
America is now home to more retirees and elder people than ever before. Thanks to medical advances and lifestyle changes over the years, the population is living longer than ever. That’s fantastic news for you, but it does mean that you’re going to have to start thinking about the future. If you’re about to retire, or living in San Diego senior housing, you need to start thinking about estate planning.
What is Estate Planning
Estate planning, at its most basic roots, is the anticipation and planning for the management and disposal of a person’s estate after their death, or when they become incapacitated. It is very much an individual process and will look slightly different for everyone. Mostly though, the goals are to minimize paying taxes on fees such as gift, estate, and income tax.
Why you Should be Thinking About Estate Planning Now
It’s not something you really want to be thinking about, and that’s understandable. However, estate planning really is in your best interests. It’s not only to manage your estate after the event of your death, but to arrange care for you if the need ever arises. One of the drawbacks to the population living longer is that the risk of developing conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s also goes up. If you’re lucky, you’ll never have to live with those conditions. It is sensible though to plan for a future in which you may have to. Your planning can include naming people in trust to take over your assets when you become ill, and that’s where a conservatorship may come in.
The Basics of Conservatorship
A conservatorship is a legal process in the United States, that gives one individual control of the assets of another. This usually comes about because the conservatee is living with physical or mental limitations, including those that come about from old age. There are actually a few times where a conservatorship can be appointed. For example, if a person is suffering from psychosis, or is suicidal, somebody can be placed to care for them.
The conservator’s roles are varied, depending on the needs of the conservatee. They may need to oversee their health care, take over paying house hold bills, or take care of the person’s living arrangements. So, for example, a conservator may decide that it’s in the conservatee’s best interests to begin living in a San Diego senior housing complex, as they would get the best care there. They would also look after paying for the housing, and checking in with the staff when needed.
Who can be a Conservator for You
When planning for the future, you’ll want to think about who you would taking care of your affairs, should you need that help. Often, retirees choose a spouse or a child of theirs to take over when the need arises. You want somebody who’s close to you, that you believe will have your best interests at heart. So it’s best that you learn estate planning now baby boomers.
Keeping your family nearby has several advantages as you retire. For one thing, having strong family ties has been shown to actually delay the onset of dementia in patients. As well as this, having close relationships means if you do start to show signs of becoming ill, they will be able to detect it much quickly, and get you the right help. That means if the conservatorship needs to be enacted, it can happen while you’re still able to understand the process.
How the Process Works
If you’ve already set up a trust for conservatorship while you’re fit and healthy, it will be fairly simple to have it enacted. When you’re planning, go to an elder care lawyer in your area to have the trust set up. This is a straightforward process, and you won’t need to visit a large law firm in order to do this. Most lawyers that work in elder care are often sole practioners. They’ll walk you through the process and help you understand everything so you understand estate planning baby boomers that needs to be done.
Once it has been established by your appointed conservator that you will need the care of a conservatorship, they will visit this lawyer and discuss the matter with them. The matter of setting this arrangement up does need to go through court, but the lawyer will do this on your behalf. If you’ve already put a plan in place, this should not be too difficult, either.
Once the conservator is legally in charge, they will have the control over your assets that you agreed on when you were healthy. This will vary from person to person, but generally your needs will be cared for by the conservator.
What Happens if an Estate Plan isn’t Put in Place?
If you haven’t got a plan legally drawn up when you become ill, it could be the case that several people could petition the courts to be appointed your conservator. When this happens, the judge will have to decide who is put in charge.
In most cases, the first person to be considered is a spouse or partner. If this isn’t possible, then any children you have will be considered. They will go down a list of your next of kin, depending on who is in your family and able to care for you. Understand estate planning now baby boomers.
In some cases, this can work out well and the conservatee will be in good hands. However, if it’s your estate, you want to be sure that someone you pick is the one to be able to have access to it. That’s why it’s so important to plan for this eventuality.
Other Concerns when Estate Planning
- Creating a will: Anyone over 18 should have a will, and you probably already do. However, if you don’t, now is the time to draw one up. Even if you think you don’t need one, it can save a lot of worry and confusion among your heirs if they ever need to use it.
- Physical items inventory: You may have already done this when you made your will, but it’s a good idea to have this document in case you need a conservator, or in the event of your death. You’ll need to go through your possessions, and list anything that’s over the value of $100. This can include laptops, TVs, furniture, and so on.
- Non physical assets inventory: Once you’ve done the physical inventory, it’s time to count up your non physical assets too. This can include life insurance, bank accounts, 401k plans, and so on. If you’re not sure what to include, you can consult with a legal expert.
- Assemble a list of your current debts: It’s a good idea to run a free credit check on yourself every year, so you can keep up to speed on what you’re currently paying off. Make a list of any debts you have. These can include credit cards, mortgages, students loans, and any other kind of debt. Having a good record of your current financial status when you understand estate planning baby boomers you too can make it easier for a conservator to keep track of what needs to be done with your assets.
- Check up on your life insurance: While speaking of life insurance, it’s worth checking up on yours while you’re fit and well. This is to make sure that they’re giving you the right cover, and that you have the right beneficiaries listed on the policy.
- Consider your digital life: Until recently, people didn’t have to think what would happen to their online data when they died. Now, though, there’s all kinds of things to consider. You may have several social media accounts, or an email address that holds a lot of your personal information. You may want to have the passwords for them stored, with instructions on what to do with them should the need arise.
As you can see, there’s a lot to think about when you’re planning what to do with your estate as you retire. There’s so many things to take into consideration that it can be overwhelming.
However, understanding estate planning baby boomers you begin to understand conservatorship making it a great way to put your mind at ease. That way, you know that if you need it, a loved one can step in and help you out with your finances and estate. Speak to a legal expert and see what you can get drawn up. It will help out an awful lot in the long run.
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