5 Ways To Plan Your Financial And Legal Affairs As You Age
OUR ESTATE PLANNING LAWYERS EXPLAIN SOME HELPFUL TIPS
Life can throw unexpected curveballs that cause legal and financial problems. For this reason, it is very important to ensure that your legal and financial affairs are in order, especially if you are elderly. Below, our estate planning lawyers explain some effective ways to plan your legal and financial affairs as you age.
Set up Durable Power of Attorney in Colorado
You could become incapacitated after suffering a serious injury or illness. Durable power of attorney is a document that grants a trusted individual, who may or may not be an attorney, the authority to conduct your medical and financial affairs.
For instance, when you grant another person a durable power of attorney, you might be giving them the authority to:
- Carry out your medical decisions
- Conduct financial or business transactions
What a person can do with durable power of attorney depends on the circumstances.
Some types of power of attorney are ultra-specific and only allow a person to carry out very specific actions, such as the sale of a piece of property. On the other hand, a general power of attorney grants broader authority. Our Denver estate planning lawyers can answer any questions you have about setting up power of attorney.
Work With an Estate Planning Attorney
Now could be a good time to review whether your estate plan needs to be updated. We recently wrote a blog that discusses when it is appropriate to update an estate plan. An estate plan helps determine how your family receives your assets after your death or incapacitation. Certain types of estate plans, such as those set up by a revocable trust, may help certain assets avoid going through probate court.
Consider updating your estate plan if:
- You recently suffered a major health setback, such as an illness or injury;
- You had more additions to your family;
- You married or divorced;
- You obtained new property or assets;
- Your financial circumstances significantly changed.
These are only a few examples of when you should consider updating an estate plan. Contact our Denver estate planning attorneys for more information on this topic.
Review Your Insurance Policies
Do you have life, disability, or health insurance? As we get older, insurance policies play a more central role in our lives by ensuring we or our loved ones are taken care of should we fall ill or pass away. Does your insurance policy adequately cover your needs?
Consider reviewing your current insurance policies and plan ahead for a potential injury or illness. There may also be state or federal health or disability programs that offer benefits. A financial planner can help you select effective insurance policies.
Meet With a Financial Planner
How often you should meet with a financial planner depends on the circumstances. If you have complicated assets, then consider holding regular meetings with a financial planner.
Be selective when choosing a financial planner. After all, you are giving this person an enormous amount of responsibility over your life and possibly the lives of your family members. Pick someone who has an established business, experience, and a positive online reputation. Keep in mind, your financial planner must act within your best interests if he or she is a fiduciary. Our attorneys can make a recommendation should you wish.
Emergencies can happen without any warning. Just use 2020 as an example. Limit unnecessary expenses and save for an emergency. Be sure to check your budget regularly and make adjustments as needed. In 2021 and beyond, you may be able to limit expenses that include travel, utilities, food, and entertainment.
There are also online banking features that can help you make timely bill payments and avoid late fees. Be sure to ask your bank about auto-withdrawals and work them into your monthly budget.