Many people prefer to put off creating a last will and ensuring that their estate is settled. It can feel depressing or morbid to think over the details of what will transpire after they die. However, particularly in families with a medical history that includes dementia or Alzheimer's developing in the later years of life, early estate planning is important for peace of mind and the protection of familial assets.
Whether you're just starting out in your career or are already looking at retirement, if you have family members that struggle with compromised mental faculty as they age, estate planning sooner, rather than later, is a wise choice.
Estate planning protects your wishes and legacy
Putting your personal desires into writing and having them legally acknowledged helps ensure that your medical wishes and estate wishes are properly carried out in the event of your death. You may think that your family will know what kind of care you want and how you want your assets divided, but leaving it to chance isn't the best choice.
By creating a written record, before any potential decline of your mental faculties, you ensure that everything from your end of life care and funeral to your home and other assets will be handled exactly as you intended at the end of your life, with nothing left to chance or interpretive discretion.
Estate planning protects your family and loved ones
It is sad to say, but the elderly, particularly those who suffer from deteriorating mental faculties, are often targeted by scammers and thieves. Some unscrupulous people are willing to take advantage of the infirm and elderly by insinuating themselves into their lives.
They could work for a medical facility or simply suddenly show up for visits, and they will have a sad story about their financial situation. Their perceived kindness and need can result in a compromised adult changing their will or estate to benefit this person, often at the expense of family members and others you intend to leave your assets to after your death.
Estate planning gives peace of mind for everyone
Especially if you aren't married, are widowed, or do not have children, it is critical that your estate and last will be in writing well before anyone can argue that your mental capacity has begun to decline. In cases where there isn't a clear heir, the state can take most or even all of your assets at the time of your death.
Leaving a written will and estate plan ensures that your assets are divided the way you wish among those you love and respect. If you need to create or update your estate plan or last will, you should contact an experienced estate attorney today!