When you hear the term “estate planning,” you may immediately think of wills, trusts, and strategies to optimize tax efficiency. While these elements form the core of estate planning, it’s important to recognize that this field encompasses much more, especially when it comes to addressing the needs of seniors. That’s where elder law comes into play.
As the American population continues to age, the field of elder law is experiencing significant growth. It’s no wonder, considering the staggering numbers. Each day, approximately 10,000 baby boomers apply for Social Security benefits. Furthermore, the segment of the population aged 85 and older is growing at a faster rate than any other age demographic.
These statistics indicate a higher likelihood of living well into your late eighties or even nineties. While longevity is a positive aspect, it also necessitates careful planning. Shockingly, around 50% of individuals over the age of 85 are affected by some form of dementia, rendering them incapable of making sound medical and financial decisions.
To prepare for such eventualities, durable powers of attorney play a vital role. A power of attorney is a legal document that empowers another person to act on your behalf. However, a general power of attorney becomes invalid in the event of incapacitation. To address this, durable powers of attorney are utilized in estate planning as they continue to remain effective even if the principal becomes incapacitated.
In addition to appropriate provisions in your trust, an estate plan’s incapacity components typically include a durable power of attorney for healthcare and a financial power of attorney. These two roles require distinct skills and decision-making expertise. As a result, many individuals appoint different individuals to serve as their respective attorneys-in-fact for healthcare and finances.
By establishing durable powers of attorney, you ensure trusted individuals can make critical decisions on your behalf when you are unable to do so. This legal framework provides you with the security and peace of mind that your best interests will be safeguarded in challenging times.
If you’re ready to explore the world of durable powers of attorney and their role in estate planning, we’re here to assist you. Contact our law firm at 520.529.4000 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation with our experienced team. We’ll guide you through the process and help you make informed decisions to protect your future.