One of the things many seniors are concerned about is how to plan so that they and their property are protected. In a recent Senior Transitions Seminar, Helene Wenzel, Elder Law Attorney, discussed some of the most important things required to address these issues. Here is a Summary:
Be sure to have a Will or a Trust. Either document will ensure that your estate will go to the people you want it to go to. Although you will need to pay more for a Trust, it could cost your heirs much more when your estate goes through probate should you die with a will or intestate. For more info regarding trusts, look at www.SeniorsList.com
To protect your estate in case of your incapacity, a Durable Power of Attorney for Property/Finances is a must. This document authorizes the person you name to take care of your home, finances and business arrangements, including insurance and Medicare, during either a short or long term incapacitating illness.
An Advance Healthcare Directive spells out your medical needs and desires and nominates a person of your choice to see that doctors and hospitals follow them should you become unable to communicate with them.
Regarding your real estate, be sure that you know who is on the title to your property, and that you are holding that property so that it will be transferred with the least tax consequences to your heirs. And never let anyone on title who you do not know well, and trust!