As we age, our needs change, our goals change, and sometimes our physical and mental abilities can change. It’s just a fact of life that we all decline in some way as we age. With this in mind, wise people plan for these natural declines. An estate plan is part of that wise planning process. Skilled estate planning attorneys in Maryland work to help aging individuals and couples put their wishes on paper, but we can also sometimes help you explore ways to avoid becoming a victim in your later years. Here are just five ways you can avoid becoming a victim.
Step one, do you have someone named to make decisions for you in the event you ever become unable to do so? If not, you are at a huge risk of exploitation. With a valid power of attorney in place for both healthcare and financial decision making, you can rest easy knowing you’ve already made your wishes known. If someone else attempts to take over, a court will carefully scrutinize any would-be abuser, and you’ll have a loved one already in place with the power to act on your behalf to fight them off.
No matter how much you love someone, do not assume they will protect your interests by leaving funds in the account. If you want to set up a convenience bank account, discuss it carefully with the bank first. Make sure there is something in writing that expresses the limits of what can be done with funds and who can access them. Alternatively, it’s better to have your own account and simply give someone a power of attorney, thus creating a clear fiduciary relationship.
Many seniors become victims of exploitation because they are unable to afford quality care in later years. Desperation puts you in a bad spot. If you are over 55, you need either a long-term care insurance plan or sufficient financial reserves in place in the event you should ever need a nursing home.
A trust is a valuable option not just after you die, but also before you pass. If you and a spouse want a truly joint-estate plan, a trust gives the surviving spouse way more options and security than a simple will.
A will and living will are two different things. A living will is an advanced directive that tells physicians and family members what you want done if you are ever in a vegetative state, and it can be customized to provide instructions about things like blood transfusions, transplants, life-sustaining treatment, and whether you want experimental procedures.
If you require help making a clear and workable estate plan that will serve you and your family for years to come, call the Glen Burnie trusts & estates lawyer at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. in Maryland today.
7310 Ritchie Highway, Suite 910
Glen Burnie, MD 21061
30 Corporate Center
10440 Little Patuxent Parkway,
Columbia, MD 21044