Getting Started: Planning Legal
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Nancy Nall Reporting
Legal issues for older people aren’t just about wills and estates anymore. With people living longer and leading more complicated lives, a lot of issues that used to be taken for granted may now be better left to lawyers. Everyone should have an up-to-date will, and it should be examined regularly, or as life circumstances change.
Depending on your assets and situation, you may want to set up a trust to protect assets from taxes. And if you have children from two or more marriages or assets whose disposition you want to specify to particular parties – property, heirlooms, a business – this is something else a lawyer can help you settle.
A probate lawyer can also advise an older adult on other issues they need to consider, everything from trusts to medical power of attorney. Health reversals can be gradual or sudden, and everyone needs to designate a trusted person to make health-care decisions according to your wishes, should you be unable to.
Ideally, this person should be someone living in the same community, but it doesn’t have to be. The Center for Elder Law offers vast resources, as well as several pages of frequently asked questions to get you started.
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