Nearly every client under the age of 60 starts the conversation with “I know we’re probably too young for this” and nearly every client over the age of 60 tells me, “We know we should have done this years ago and it’s probably too late to do anything now.”

When is the right time to address estate and long-term care planning options? Right now!!!

God gave mankind two great gifts – children are born to the young and you never know what tomorrow may bring. In our 21st century society, children are being born to the not so young, but the second great gift remains true – no one knows what tomorrow may bring.

If we knew what tomorrow was going to bring, we would know the precise date that every family should begin their planning, what they should do and exactly when to do it. Fortunately, that is not how it works, at least to this point in the history of humankind.

So, whatever your situation, start planning now. On the age scale, here are some suggestions that might help you know what type of planning to do at various stages of your life. Bear in mind, that you can start anytime even if you are one of the lucky ones who have lived to age 75 or higher and are experiencing Elderhood – or you have experienced a medical crisis and you require long term care at any age – you can still plan and in nearly every case, leave a legacy for those you love.

AgeStatusFamily SizeTypes of Planning to Consider
18 -25S1Power of Attorney; Health Care Proxy
25 – 40S1Simple will, Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, Directive for Disposing of Remains
25 – 40M2 - 10Wills with trust for minor children, POA, HCP & DDR
40 – 60S1Simple Will, POA, HCP, DDR – possibly a Revocable Trust if assets are sufficient to justify elimination of probate costs and time involved.
40 – 60M2 - 10Reciprocal wills, POA, HCP, DDR – possibly a Revocable Trust, Credit Shelter Wills, Irrevocable Trust
60 – 75S1Simple Will, POA, HCP, DDR – Revocable Trust or Irrevocable Trust depending on Legacy wishes
60 – 75M2 - 10Reciprocal wills, POA, HCP, DDR – possibly a Revocable Trust, Credit Shelter Wills, Irrevocable Trust, Deed home to children reserving a Life Estate for Grantors
75 +S1Will, POA, HCP, DDR, Charitable Remainder Trust, Revocable Trust, Irrevocable Trust depending on value of assets
75 +M2 - 10Reciprocal wills, POA, HCP, DDR – possibly a Revocable Trust, Credit Shelter Wills, Irrevocable Trust, Deed home to children reserving a Life Estate for Grantors
40 +Widow(er)1 - 10Will, POA, HCP, DDR, Deed reserving Life Estate, Charitable Remainder Trust, Revocable Trust, Irrevocable Trust depending on value of assets

Of course, there are many nuances and each plan must be tailored to meet your specific needs, but the chart can give you a general idea of what type of planning would likely be beneficial for you and your family. Close work with an Elder Law attorney, your investment advisor, your insurance agent, and your accountant/tax preparer will ensure a solid financial plan for your family and give you peace of mind. And let’s face it – peace of mind is what we all are hoping to achieve in our lives.

If you have any questions about the above material or wish to speak to an attorney, please contact us at (716) 204-1055.

Assets, estate planning, power of attorney, probate, trusts, Will