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According to a recent Wells Fargo survey, one in four older Americans do not have a plan in place to take care of their medical and financial needs in case they become incapacitated. It’s important to remember that there are several ways Ohio residents can protect themselves in case of incapacity.

According to Wells Fargo, there are four documents that everyone needs. These are a will, a financial power of attorney, a health care power of attorney and an advance health care directive. A will identifies which items go to which beneficiaries. A financial power of attorney gives someone the ability to manage the estate owner’s financial matters if that person is unable to do so. The latter two documents deal with the kind of health care one wants and appointing someone to make health care decisions on the estate owner’s behalf if they are unable to do so.

These documents should be in a place that is easily accessible and known to loved ones. One should also discuss the contents of their estate plan with loved ones and review the documents regularly. People may feel that doing this or even creating the estate plan in the first place is not a matter of urgency, but it is important to set a deadline for these tasks.

One danger of failing to review estate planning documents is that if a person remarries, the previous spouse might not have been removed from beneficiary designations. Failing to update estate plans can also mean some children in blended families get left out. Estate plans should also be reviewed in case of other family developments, changes in assets or updates in tax law or other types of regulations that might affect how assets are passed down to beneficiaries.