Legal Documents Everyone Over 65 Should Have
As you get older, it’s important to ensure your interests and the interests of your loved ones will be protected if you pass away or become otherwise unable to make decisions on your own. By speaking to an estate planning attorney in Philadelphia and the best elder law attorney in PA, you can prepare all the documents you need to make your wishes clear and legally binding. If you’re over 65, here are some documents we recommend you have prepared:
Advanced Directive/Medical Directive
If you become ill or incapacitated to the point where you are unable to make decisions about your medical care, a medical directive (also called an advanced directive) can articulate your wishes in a legally binding fashion. Medical directives can include instructions about whether or not to administer treatments like ventilators or feeding tubes. A medical directive can also outline your wishes regarding resuscitation and other extreme life-saving measures, especially in cases where your quality of life could be severely diminished when you are revived.
Power of Attorney for Healthcare
While a medical directive is an important document to have on file, emergency personnel and doctors may not always be aware of your wishes when you are incapacitated. By choosing a loved one to act as your agent under your power of attorney in these cases, you can ensure you have a trusted advocate who can quickly make decisions about your medical care in an emergency.
Power of Attorney for Finances
Just like a power of attorney for healthcare allows another person to make medical decisions on your behalf, a durable power of attorney allows someone else to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf. This could include decisions regarding banking, real estate, government benefits, investments, trusts, and more.
There are multiple different powers of attorney that can be granted, so it’s best to speak with an elder law attorney about your specific situation to determine how these powers should be allocated.
When you have dependents, especially children, you should draw up a will, no matter what your age. If something should happen to you, your will can name guardians for your children and allocate distribution of assets after you die. In the absence of a will, the state law will determine how your assets are distributed, and they may not be in accordance with your wishes.
A revocable trust is often used as a will substitute. While many use this to avoid probate (a process that can be expensive and time-consuming in some states, although not in Pennsylvania), a revocable trust can have other benefits for the right individuals.
Finding an Elder Law Attorney in the Montgomery County Area
The information above is just a brief overview of some documents that can make things easier for your beneficiaries if you become incapacitated or pass away. If you want to make a solid estate plan, speaking to a dedicated elder law attorney should be your first step. If you live in the Montgomery County, PA area, Robert Slutsky can assist you.
As an elder law attorney for nearly 30 years, he has the specialized knowledge it takes to give you the best advice about your end-of-life planning. He even has 3 offices for your convenience, located in Montgomery County, Chester County, and Delaware County.
Call (610) 940-0650 or fill out the online form on our contact page to find out more about everything an experienced elder law attorney can do for you, or to schedule your in-person or virtual consultation today.