Riverside elder law attorneys help people prepare for the eventualities of aging as they make plans for their potential incapacity and any legacy they desire to leave their loved ones. There are many different things to consider, so you should definitely consult with one of our elder law attorneys to understand all the facts. In this blog post, we will look at three different things to think about as you are planning ahead for the future.
Alzheimer’s and Incapacity Planning
You take out insurance to protect yourself, even if the percentages would tell you that it is unlikely that you will need to make a claim. Yet, countless people go through their lives without planning ahead for the possibility of incapacity, and when they do, they are defying the odds.
Of course, we all hope that we will always be able to make all of our own decisions throughout our lives, but the fact is that people are routinely living to advanced ages these days. You will probably be surprised to hear that the segment of the population that is growing faster than any other is the group of individuals who are 85 years old or older.
If you were to join this rapidly expanding demographic, you would be very vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease. The Alzheimer’s Association states that 40-45 percent of people who are 85 years of age and up will contract the disease.
Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are huge threats in and of itself, but many elders ultimately cannot communicate sound decisions for other reasons.The wise course of action is to name individuals of your choosing to act in your behalf should it become necessary through the execution of durable powers of attorney. Another option would be to include an incapacity component within a revocable living trust. The bottom line is this: Incapacity planning is a must for serious minded individuals.
To prepare for the inevitable, you must consider all details, including funeral arrangements. There are those who assume that this is something that family members should take care of, but in fact, there are a lot of choices that must be made, and it may be best to make them yourself. These would include choice of burial or cremation, casket or urn selection, choice of funeral plot or the destination of your ashes, and memorial service details.
If you do not make your own advance preparations, those that you love will be forced to do make them on their own. Though they will undoubtedly take on the responsibility, it will not necessarily be a welcome one. In addition to this being a chore that must be dealt with at a time when they will be grieving, people don’t always see eye to eye about the details. Your family members may not all agree about how to go about things, and this can create hard feelings when people should be pulling together to support one another.
It is possible to do the legwork yourself and develop an arrangement with a funeral home, make your selections, and pay for the final arrangements in advance. You could alternately make provisions within your estate plan, stating your preferences in no uncertain terms.
How Will You Be Remembered?
Many people want to give back to society for the opportunities they have been afforded, and this may include leaving a portion of your estate to a charitable organization that has benefited you in some way. For many, this means leaving a legacy for their alma mater or other educational institutions.
This was apparently the case with the artist LeRoy Neiman, the famed expressionist whose work was largely devoted to sports themes. Neiman died a number of years ago, and it is interesting to take a look at some of his philanthropic efforts. He had a strong connection with the Art Institute of Chicago. This was the institution that educated him, and after attending the school as a student, he went on to become a member of the faculty.
Neiman reportedly endowed $3 million to the school, and this is part of his legacy of generosity. He also donated $1 million to Arts Horizon, a Harlem community arts center. And, a Columbia University print studies center that is named after Neiman was made possible in part by his generous $6 million donation. LeRoy Neiman did what he could to help to pave the way for others by supporting educational institutions and community resources, and while you may not have his resources, even small small donations can help achieve institutions reach their goals.
Learn More — Listen to One of Our Free Webinars!
If you would like to learn more about the way that our Riverside elder law attorneys can help you prepare for the future, visit this page to check out our schedule of free webinars and register for the session that perks your interest.
Have a question? Ask Dennis.