VanNess & VanNess, P.A.

Long term care, estate plans and family discussions

According to studies, people who are nearing retirement age often fail to create estate plans or make plans for their own eventual health care. With a large proportion of retirees, Florida may be one state where this is common. One survey found that only a little more than half of American parents had a living trust or will, and around 27 percent have no estate documents.

Discussing both the estate plan and long-term care plans with family members is essential. Many wealthy investors said that they did not want their children to have to take care of them if they become unable to do so themselves. However, around 77 percent of people have no money set aside for health care costs in the future. With planning comes confidence. Among those who do feel they will be able to manage such costs in the future, 71 percent of them have a plan in place while 27 percent do not.

Among people who do have a will or other estate documents, in many cases, those documents might be out of date. Fewer than half of people with a will have updated it in the last five years. Furthermore, just over half of adult children know where to find their parents' will.

Transparency about documents relating to end-of-life care and care in case a person becomes incapacitated are particularly important because these may need to be retrieved quickly by loved ones while under duress. People may want to prepare a power of attorney that grants someone the ability to manage their finances. They may also want to speak with an attorney about preparing an advance directive that gives instructions regarding their health care. Discussing these decisions with loved ones will help prepare them for the contents of these documents and may help ease any family disputes that might arise.

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