Planning for Single Seniors

May 15, 2018

More and more seniors are finding themselves alone and without nearby relatives to help them with financial management. Persons in this situation will need to find an alternative—friends or professionals who can fulfill the roles that might otherwise be handled by family members.

Delegated powers

For seniors the most vexing problems are associated with incapacity. If you become incapacitated, temporarily by illness or permanently through aging:

  • Who will pay the bills?
  • Who will track the investments?
  • Who will make decisions about real estate?
  • Who will make certain that taxes are paid?
  • Who will balance the checkbook?

The first solution that comes to mind for these questions is the financial durable power of attorney. This document allows another person to step into your shoes, financially speaking, and make binding decisions on your behalf. A durable power of attorney may be as broad or as limited in scope as needed to make you comfortable. You’ll need to see your lawyer to have the power of attorney drafted and executed.

Another axis of anxiety concerns health care. In this area, you may need:

  • a health care power of attorney, with medical instructions to be followed if you are incapacitated;
  • a Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) authorization, so that your agent has full rights to your medical records;
  • a health care proxy that may give someone decision-making power at the end of your life;
  • a living will that outlines your expectations for medical care near the end of your life.

Living trusts

Affluent individuals often rely upon a living trust for financial management in retirement. A living trust can provide financial protection in the event of disability or incapacity, as a durable power of attorney does. However, a living trust offers additional advantages, such as financial privacy at death and probate avoidance. If a corporate trustee, such as us, is named as the trustee, there will be the advantages that come with working with an institution as compared to an individual. We don’t get sick or go on vacation. Trust management is our business, and we attend to it every day.

If you are interested in this service, please make an appointment to meet with one of our officers to learn more about how we may help you.

© 2018 M.A. Co. All rights reserved.

Legal, Investment and Tax Notice: This information is not intended to be and should not be treated as legal advice or tax advice. Readers should under no circumstances rely upon this information as a substitute for their own research or for obtaining specific legal or tax advice from their own counsel.