3 Essential Planning Documents For Every Older Adult

If you are an older individual, it may be wise to start planning for your later years and beyond. By having comprehensive plans in place for both your health care and your finances, you can alleviate potential burdens on yourself as well as your loved ones. With so much to put in order, however, it may be difficult to know where to start. An elder law attorney can often be a helpful guide.

We can help you put together a plan that serves your wishes. At our firm, James A. Jones, Attorney at Law, we help individuals in Tacoma, Washington, prepare for comfort and peace of mind in their twilight years. Here are three essential documents that older adults should consider:

A Durable Power Of Attorney

A durable power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint an individual to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf. A “durable” power of attorney is different from its “nondurable” counterpart in that it remains valid should you become mentally incapacitated. By establishing this document, you can ensure that your wishes are observed even if you cannot make decisions on your own.

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An Advance Health Care Directive

End-of-life planning is important if you have a vision for how you would like to spend your final moments. An advance health care directive lets you leave instructions for how your health care should proceed if you cannot make your own decisions. A knowledgeable elder law attorney such as ours at James A. Jones, Attorney at Law, can help you design an advance health care directive that is right for you.

A Will And/Or Trust

Creating a will and/or trust is compulsory to direct the distribution of your assets after you pass. Wills and trusts serve similar functions, but there are differences between the two. A will dictates where your property will go after your death, whereas a trust can take effect as soon as you create it. A trust can be beneficial if you wish to disburse assets to your beneficiaries before you pass on, though it can remain in effect after that as well.