According to a Wells Fargo survey, only four in every 10 individuals in the United States age 60 and up have executed the legal documents necessary that dictate how their health care and finances will be handled if they become incapacitated.
These numbers may be surprising, but the fact of the matter is that contemplating one’s death is not always easy to do. However, it is important that people in San Mateo and elsewhere execute the necessary estate planning documents sooner rather than later. Estate planning can seem daunting, but it can be simplified by looking at it as a series of steps.
There are four primary documents most people should include in their estate plan: a will, financial power of attorney, health care power of attorney and an advance health care directive. It can help to start with financial planning, that is, making sure the proper beneficiaries are listed on all wills, trusts, accounts, policies and other documents. All one’s assets should be titled properly, particularly if one has executed a trust.
Following that, it can help to tackle health care issues. A health care surrogate can be designated to make choices regarding one’s health care should one be incapacitated. Also, with the right estate planning documents, a person can delineate exactly what kind of end-of-life care they’d prefer.
Taking things one step at a time, rather than sticking one’s head in the sand, can be essential when it comes to estate planning. It may seem overwhelming at first, but a person can seek help to make the process easier on them and their loved ones. By seeking professional advice, a person wishing to create an estate plan can make informed choices moving forward.
Source: CNBC, “These costly estate planning mistakes can be fixed,” Lorie Konish, May 10, 2018