At the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo in California, we provide advice, counsel and legal representation to many clients in need of planning for or help with issues they face as they age. If you or a loved one is approaching your golden years, or already has achieved senior citizen status, we thought it would be helpful to explain some of the ways in which you, too, can benefit from taking action now before you need to reap the rewards of careful estate and elder care planning.
As FindLaw explains, virtually all seniors eventually face issues regarding their retirement, health care, possible disability and/or incapacity, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, which in California means dealing with Medi-Cal, the government program that pays for long-term care in a nursing home, assisted living facility, etc. The sooner you begin planning for these eventualities, the better chance you have to make your later life comfortable.
You can protect the assets you have worked so hard to accumulate over the years in a variety of ways through effective estate planning. Usually you start with a will that sets forth to whom you want your assets to pass upon your death. Keep in mind, however, that your will is only the beginning of an efficacious estate plan. You also want to protect your assets and benefit from them yourself during your lifetime. You can choose a number of trusts that can do this, not only for you, but also for your children, grandchildren, favorite charity or charities or even your pets, including the following:
- Inter vivos trusts
- Irrevocable trusts
- Special needs trusts
- Charitable trusts
Each trust type has its own benefits, not the least of which can be considerable tax savings. You also can protect your assets by means of a financial power of attorney that names the person(s) who you want to manage your assets and investments and make financial decisions for you in the event you become unable to do so yourself.
Health care planning
If you are like most Californians, you have very definite ideas about the kind and quantity of health care procedures, therapies and medications to which you are amenable. You can make your wishes known by means of such documents as the following:
- Living will
- Health care directive
- Health care power of attorney
Planning for your own future and that of your loved ones is one of the most important things you can do. It gives you the peace of mind knowing that you have done everything possible to assure that all of you will live long and comfortable lives.
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