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How Could an Older Person Approach Estate Planning?

Butler Law Sept. 25, 2021

Estate planning isn’t only for older persons, but as someone ages, concerns arise. With age comes worries about health, leading some to either revisit their plan or create estate documents for the first time. The South Carolina probate process could become much more straightforward for relatives when a loved one took steps to ensure everything was in order.

Insights Into More Thorough Estate Planning

Someone could take part in estate planning at age 40 but not revisit the documents for many years. Therefore, the documents might be outdated and require revisions. Perhaps the family welcomed two new grandchildren or a testator’s net worth increased substantially. Such things could necessitate making updates to a will.

Also, many people do not perform comprehensive estate planning. They may write a will but do not explore other documents that might be valuable under the circumstances. For example, health concerns may prompt someone to draw up a health care proxy or living will.

Maybe age-related limitations make handling numerous financial tasks difficult. Perhaps awarding a close relative power of attorney abilities may be advisable under the circumstances.

Additional Matters of Concern for Estate Planners

Preparing comprehensive estate plans often involve looking at several different things that could affect family members and survivors. Tax issues might catch beneficiaries by surprise, so addressing estate taxes may be necessary when an estate value exceeds the exemption threshold. Discussing preparatory steps with heirs may assist them when the time comes to deal with the IRS.

Other steps, such as updating beneficiaries on transfer-on-death accounts, may require immediate attention. Adding new beneficiaries or removing current ones might better reflect current estate planning preferences.

Letting too much time pass before bringing estate plans current might cause otherwise avoidable problems. Updating an estate plan may prove difficult when health issues arise.