November 01, 2015

Estate Planning for Old Age and Incapacity

Sheila-Marie Finkelstein

Countless people avoid estate planning, many because they do not want to deal with aging or dying. Estate planning is not just about making final arrangements after death; it is about planning for life. Many estate planning attorneys assert the most important reason for estate planning is to prepare for old age and incapacity. Estate planning is the legal way to make your wishes known and enforceable when you are no longer able to do so yourself. A comprehensive estate plan will include a financial power of attorney as well as health care directives, the stand-alone documents that deal specifically with old age and incapacity. These documents are also the most effective way to avoid conservatorship. Conservatorship is judicial appointment and supervision of a guardian (someone with legal authority and duty to care for another’s person or property because of the other’s incapacity or disability).

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