The U.S. population is aging, and baby boomers, the largest generation in history, have entered retirement age in recent years. Yahoo Finance’s recent article, “Elder Law Is More Important Than Ever. Why? Baby Boomers,” says that medical care has extended life and physical ability and grown more sophisticated.
“Questions surrounding mental competence, duration of care, and nature of treatments have become increasingly difficult to answer. The result has been a medical system that often implicates legal questions of individual autonomy, with some of the highest stakes that the courts recognize,” the article explains.
Estate Planning. Trusts and estates is the area of the law that governs how to manage your assets after death. You create trusts to hold, oversee and distribute assets according to your instructions. While Trusts can be created when you are alive for asset protection, inheritance tax savings or to avoid probate in multiple states (if someone owns more than one real property), many people also establish trusts under their Wills (testamentary trusts) for handling their property upon their deaths.
Disability and Conservatorship. As you get older, your body or mind may severely decline. This is known as incapacitation. It is generally defined legally as when someone is either physically unable to express their wishes (such as being unconscious) or mentally unable to understand the nature and quality of their actions. If this occurs, you need someone to assist with activities of daily living. Declaring an individual mentally unfit or incapacitated is a complicated legal and medical issue that can be avoided by signing a valid and effective Durable Financial Power of Attorney while one has capacity to do so.
Power of Attorney. Most seniors use Powers of Attorney to plan for two main situations: (i) a medical power of attorney for family members to assume your care in the event you are physically unable to make your own healthcare decisions for some reason, and (ii) a financial power of attorney for someone to manage your financial affairs if you are unable to do so yourself due to accident, injury, illness, or simply for convenience.
Medicare. Every American over 65 will most likely deal with Medicare, which provides no-cost or low-cost healthcare for those 65+. Almost all seniors enroll to receive at least some medical benefits under this program. Health care becomes an increasingly important part of your financial and personal life as you age. It’s important for the elderly to know their rights and responsibilities regarding healthcare.
Social Security. This is the retirement benefits program to help ensure that U.S. seniors have money on which to live. For senior citizens, understanding how these programs work is often essential. This is particularly true given the increased footprint that medical care plays in the lives of senior citizens and the complexities brought on by increasingly mobile seniors.
At Curran Estate & Elder Law in Reading, Pennsylvania, "elder law" is not only in our firm's name; it is in our hearts. It is our mission to be of service to our elders and to their families/friends who may be struggling with the need for in-home or community-based care and all of the questions and difficulties that arise in that area.
Reference: Yahoo Finance (Sep. 13, 2023) “Elder Law Is More Important Than Ever. Why? Baby Boomers”
Free E-Newsletter – Subscribe Now