About seven out of ten adults will need long-term care services at some point in their lives. That’s one of the key facts that advocates of long-term care planning want people to realize during October’s Long-Term Care Planning Month.
You never have a guarantee over exactly how long you’ll live, and the longer you are alive, the more likely the chances of needing home care or skilled nursing care services. That’s all part of the long-term care plans you should be discussing this month. Another important discussion to have is your dad’s will.
Here’s some food for thought. Only 46% of American adults have a will. Only 33% of adults 65 or older have taken that important step and drawn up a will. Has your dad? If so, does he revise it regularly to make sure everything is still as he wants it?
Questions He Needs to Ask Himself
When building a will, your dad needs to decide how he wants his financial and tangible assets divided. If he has a sister he hasn’t spoken to in decades, he wouldn’t want his money going to her most likely, and he wants to protect his heirs from her trying to file a claim against the estate.
He needs to ask himself:
- What assets does he have that need to be given to others?
- Who would he want to have those assets?
- Does he have pets to consider? Who will care for them and can they afford it or does he need to leave money for his pets’ care?
- What about his home? Is it protected from claims from the government, hospitals, etc. to pay medical debts?
- Are any of his children likely to have grandchildren or have they already? If so, are those future grandchildren covered by the will?
- If he has a will, has he fallen out with any of the heirs listed in his existing will?
Make Sure He’s Worked With an Elder Law Specialist
Who drafted your dad’s will? Did he go to an elder law practice or did he use some free online form? Has he had that will notarized and provided copies to everyone while putting the original in a fire-proof lockbox or safe?
He needs to work with an elder law specialist to make sure his will is valid. The Uniform Electronic Wills Act has made it easier to create a will online and sign it electronically, but not every state considers it a legal will.
For example, Vermont’s statutes make it clear that for a will to be legal, it must be written out. E-wills are not valid.
Understanding these rules can be difficult. You don’t want to find that your dad’s will is considered invalid at one of the most stressful times in your life. Arrange a consultation with an elder law attorney to create a valid will that matches your dad’s wishes.
If you or a loved one need assistance with Elder Law in Mountain Brook, AL contact The Alabama Elder Care Law Firm, LLC today. (205) 390-0101