You may have already reached retirement or be looking at moving into an assisted living community in the coming months. At this age, you might think that trying to plan with an estate plan won’t have much effect, because you’re already elderly.
Realistically, there is never a time when you’re too old to start estate planning. There are times, however, that you may be unable to plan because of other concerns like mental incapacity. For that reason, you should begin working on your estate plan right away, even if you are considering moving into a nursing home or are dealing with a serious illness.
Plan before incapacity
One of the things you should know about estate planning is that you could lose the right to plan for your own future if you are incapacitated in any way. For example, if you have Alzheimer’s disease and it progresses, you may reach a point where you cannot legally participate in estate planning. If you have no plan in place, then your family may have to figure out how to handle your estate in probate court.
As long as you’re healthy and have good mental capacity now, you can work on your estate plan. Even if you’ve already moved into a nursing home or have aides helping you in your home, you retain the right to make changes to your estate plan.
Late planning has downsides, but it also retains benefits
Even through later planning does have downsides, it also has benefits that remain. For example, you may have to spend down some of your personal assets to qualify for Medicaid until the look-back period passes if you plan now, but if you take action, you could limit how much money you end up spending on your care.
Now is the time to create your basic estate plan for better protection
If you’re getting older, now is the time to think about establishing an estate plan, even if it’s as simple as drawing up your will to help your family avoid probate court. It’s not too late to take steps to protect yourself and your beneficiaries.