Yahoo News’ recent article entitled “If You're Over 50, Don't Leave This Out of Your Will, Expert Says” fills us in on what we can’t forget in a will after the big 5-0.
Incapacity. A 2021 survey from Caring.com says that almost two-thirds of adults do not have a will. Even those thinking about estate planning do not consider a plan for addressing the possibility of incapacity.
Ask an experienced estate planning attorney to create a power of attorney, so in the event you are incapable of making decisions because of your mental state or disability, you have someone you trust doing it for you.
More than a will. A will should be one component of a comprehensive estate plan that addresses who gets what when you die, but also who can take care of business, if you are not able to care for yourself. Naming a person in advance lets you to avoid having court involvement and lets you take control of your future.
The law has many ways for you to select who will have authority and care for you, if you become incapacitated. This is something that you can and should discuss with an experienced estate planning attorney.
Will backups. Designating loved ones you trust should be the rule in all facets of estate planning. However, it is critical to be certain that you have backups (“successors” or “alternates”), in the event that a person you’ve selected can't fulfill their role.
Many people around age 50 who see their thriving, productive children making their way in the world fail to consider the thought that their children may not be available or able to serve a role. Designating more than one backup might not seem like it is a big deal, but you should consider the possibility that a loved one might be incapacitated, predecease you, or be unavailable.
Keep your will current. As your life changes, so do your needs. Therefore, it is vital to be sure that your will is up-to-date. You should review your will regularly (at least every few years) to make sure that it still reflects your current thinking.
You should also be sure you know where an original copy of the will is located. It is important to keep track of it. You can leave it locked away with your attorney or some other secure place, but you need to know where it is.
If you happen to not have a will in place, get started now and avoid any problems later.