Mistakes in estate planning

Only 40 percent of people in the United States who are at least 60 years old have completed the appropriate documents to ensure that their healthcare and finances are looked after if they are unexpectedly incapacitated. People who do not have an estate plan that addresses these issues may be victims of elder abuse.

To protect one’s finances, all relevant plans should be stored in a place that is safe and accessible. Although one may be tempted to place their important documents in a safe at their home, there are online platforms that can be used to both create and store plans. Individuals can use these platforms to store all of their estate planning documents in one place, and have the documents easily accessible, even for interested parties who reside far away.

The creation of an estate plan can begin by creating a comprehensive list of all the necessary documents that are needed. Four of the most important documents that should be a part of every estate plan are a will, a power of attorney for healthcare matters, a power of attorney for financial matters and an advance healthcare directive. People creating an estate plan should also make sure that the designation of beneficiaries for assets and the proper titling of trusts are priorities on their estate planning list.

Provisions for healthcare should include the designation of a healthcare surrogate. There should also be detailed instructions regarding the type of care one wants to receive if they are unable to make the decisions for themselves.

An estate planning attorney may assist clients with creating the appropriate type of trusts for their financial goals. The attorney may explain how trusts can be used as part of a complete estate plan to protect assets for beneficiaries and bypass probate.