Seniors and an Estate Plan

Posted by Sheri Tucker, M.S., J.D.Jan 04, 20210 Comments

Seniors Need An Estate Plan

Why do Seniors need an estate plan? Seniors require extra elder care in estate planning. Seniors lacking appropriate estate planning hinders the spouse and family's inability to provide necessary support and to navigate major changes in life.Recently a family scrambled to care for an aging father with an onset of dementia and a mother with progressed dementia.  There is no estate plan, no trust, and no wills in place.  The mother did not have any powers of attorney in place and lacked capacity to sign papers; the father could put powers of attorney in place. The father also is a retired military veteran. The real-life estate situation could be your family's crisis.

Seniors and a Financial PoA

For Seniors and people with disabilities, a major part of estate planning includes advanced powers of attorney in place for finances and health care. A financial power of attorney attorney-in-fact must act in a fiduciary capacity. What does that mean? The person must use your financial assets for your best interests, and the person must act in a trustworthy manner. Financial PoA names a Conservator in case of incapacity. With dementia and Alzheimer's increasing among Seniors, putting a Financial PoA in place is crucial.

Seniors and an Health Care Plan

Families often face a long-term healthcare crisis. Seniors need a health care power of attorney in place. Your health care attorney-in-fact is able to access your medical records with a signed HIPAA, talk to doctors, and make sure your end-of-life directive is followed. The Health Care PoA also names a guardian if one becomes necessary.  

Living Will and a Senior's Estate Plan

Why is an advance health care directive important? The Advance Health Care Directive is a living will, your end-of-life plan. Do you want tube feedings? Ventilator? Organ Donation? What do you want to take place if there is a Voluntary Stop Eating and Drinking (VSED) from an advanced dementia or Alzheimer's? Seniors need options for deciding end of life plans and a thorough Advance Health Care Directive.

Senior Estate Planning

Families often consider the necessity of a Last Will and Testament. However, having just a Will in place may not be the best option for an Elder. Seniors without long-term care insurance may need different types of estate planning and options. Seniors may need Medicaid Trusts, a Revocable Living Trust, and other types of elder care planning. It is important to talk to an attorney who understands families dealing with a loved one's health crisis, including the diagnosis of Alzheimer's and dementia. When families do not have their own estate plan in place, the state sets out a plan outlined by statutes and case law. 

Take Action

Not having your tailored estate plan in place is risky. In today's national health crisis, Seniors lacking appropriate estate planning increase family's inability to provide the support and help necessary to navigate major changes in life. Call me at 314.332.0011. Visit to book your consultation today for estate planning and elder law issues.