Estate Planning for Childess Seniors

If you are trying to engage in estate planning and you do not have any children, there are a number of things that you will need to do. Here are the basics of estate planning for childless seniors.

Health Care Agent

Whenever you are getting older, you need to make sure that you make the arrangements to have a health care agent. A health care agent is an individual that can make health-related decisions for you if you are incapable of doing so. Many times, seniors will leave this job up to their children. However, if you do not have any children, you will need to find someone else for the job. You might consider choosing another family member, such as a niece or nephew. You can also choose a friend or close business associate that you completely trust. This is a big responsibility and you need to take the time to find someone that will have your best interests in mind.

Geriatric Care Manager

You will also want to make arrangements for a geriatric care manager. This is an individual that will provide you with healthcare and other forms of care as you get older. They will most likely come to your place of residence and help you in any manner that you need help in. It is best to make the arrangements for securing a geriatric care manager while you are still younger. Once you get to a certain point, it can be difficult to find someone that you can trust.

Financial Agent

You are also going to need someone to act as a financial agent for you. A financial agent will have the ability to control your finances and make decisions for you if you are incapacitated. You will need to sign a power of attorney document that transfers this power to another individual. This person will be able to make bank transactions for you, buy and sell real estate, buy and sell securities, and enter into contracts on your behalf. Therefore, this individual has a huge responsibility. You need to find someone that you can trust for this job. Ideally, if you have a close business associate that knows your financial situation, this would be the best choice.

Corporate Trustee

If you are the owner of a business, you will also want to choose someone that can run your business for you if you are unable to do so. When it is determined that you are incapacitated or if you pass away, this individual will be able to take over the business and start making decisions on your behalf.

Money

You will also need to consider what you are going to do with your money when you pass away. You could consider giving a large portion of the money to a charity. You might also want to utilize a grantor retained income trust. This will allow you to put your assets into a trust, earn income from them, and pass them on to a relative that is not a direct descendant. For example, you could give a large portion of your assets to a niece or nephew through this method.

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