In his 2011 article in Forbes, Bernard Krooks says:

“Senior citizens should be enjoying their golden years with their loved ones and not worrying about end of life care. But with more than 120 million Americans not having updated estate plans or any long-term financial plans, according to the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils, seniors are putting their assets and health at risk.     …take the time to plan when you are healthy and able to get the care you deserve and enjoy the benefits of all the years of hard work.

A senior should take proactive steps to protect their assets, create a living will, and make their last wishes known to family members and their main doctors. These decisions are difficult, but planning ahead can provide more comfort and preservation of a person’s savings than if decisions are made when the senior is chronically ill or incapacitated.

… Individuals can take great steps to save money and lessen burdens on family members by meeting with a skilled estate planning attorney before a senior’s health takes a drastic turn for the worse. Adequate planning will help a senior confront challenges and death with dignity.

Many of us have more questions than answers. What is an estate plan? A Living Will? A Living Trust? A Durable Power of Attorney? An Advanced Health Care Directive? Why do I need any of this? What does it matter if I don’t?

These are important questions, and it is equally important that you know the answers! The website ElderLawAnswers has a set of Estate Planning Articles that addresses such questions.  There are several other sources that also provide answers.  We strongly recommend that if you have not already done so, make the time to get familiar with these topics, make a list of questions you still need to have answered, and then work with a qualified professional to develop your own Estate Plan.