Estate planning is important for people of all ages, but as we age, the need for planning becomes even more critical. Many people avoid estate planning, because they do not want to think about the end of life, failing health or disability. Others believe that an estate plan is only for rich people. However, an estate plan is helpful for the senior adult and their families regardless of overall wealth.
The benefits of a highly detailed, comprehensive power of attorney are numerous. A proper starting point is to emphasize that the proper use of a power of attorney as an estate planning and elder law document depends on the reliability and honesty of the appointed agent.
There are a lot of good reasons to set up a trust as part of your estate plan: providing for a special needs child, more control and flexibility in distributing your assets upon your death, greater control over incapacity planning, and estate tax avoidance.
But there is another great reason to create a trust: to avoid probate court.
When people come to my office, one of the most common requests I hear is, “I just need a simple will.” But many times, after spending some time going over their personal circumstances and their specific needs, the “simple will” they thought they needed was not-so-simple after all.