Elderly Legal Concerns - 4 Things Everyone Should Have Prepared as They Get Older

Arwin Wang
Arwin Wang

As time progresses and old age comes to us all, we begin a new era in our lives. Our elderly parents enter a new world that may not have been the one they grew up in, with new emerging technologies and not many of their loved ones always around to assist them, let's admit that old age can be challenging.To ease the burden and heal the growing pains, proper documentation is needed to make it a smooth transition into old age.

Durable Power of Attorney

Past the old age of retirement, elderly folk look to living a life of luxury and solace, with their days of glory in the past, they often look forward to spending quiet afternoons in eace and absolute bliss.

They usually no longer wish to deal with the complications of a busy lifestyle and have no interest in pursuing financial issues and legal intricacies. One document that should be signed right after retiring is a “Durable Power of Attorney”, which allows another person whether it is the next of kin or someone else entirely to conduct their banking, financial investments, government benefits, beneficiary transaction, and personal maintenance issues on their behalf.

This document is an important one and allows the designated person the right to act as your proxy or on your behalf. This right must be given to someone they trust, as it goes into effect immediately.The Durable Power of Attorney and the laws that come with it may vary, and you must speak with a lawyer before signing any paper or drafting any documents.

Advance Directives

Since no one's life is guaranteed, one of the most important documents that you would need is an Advance Directive.Due to the complications of old age; many folks are afflicted with common problems that come with age. As the body wears down and is pushing past the old age, various medical issues and complexities can occur.

As the saying goes, “we know what's best for ourselves”, this document makes your voice heard and dictates your preferences for medical care if you become incapacitated. Advance Directives are usually a collection of documents detailing and outlining how we want to betaken care of, this can include but is often not limited to: life support machines, resuscitation, feeding through a tube, dialysis, and organ or tissue donation.  

This document is yours, and you can customize it and edit it to your liking. Like most other documents, it is advised that you have an accompanying lawyer and you provide thorough instructions and dictations on how or when you should require treatment. The document can be designed to have everything including what kind of music to play on your deathbed to whether you would be okay with having your organs harvested after passing away. While this reality can be hard to imagine, the preparation of this document is critical.

Will and Trusts

Drafting a will, which is acceptable by all, is extremely important for the elderly citizen and the next of their kin. These are documents which suggest the division of your owned property and assets among your children and grandchildren. The attorney should draw them in your presence only. This piece of paper ensures that your money will go to your future generations and will stay in the family. Seniors should plan this right from the moment they start to feel unwell, as failing to plan this can result in family disputes over property and money which can lead to a lengthy legal fight. Your attorney will only disclose your will and the receiver of your trust, after the event of your death. For many people, retirement is a phase of relaxation and peace, but it can be disrupted by legal issues and obligations if you don’t take care of them properly. These documents can also address family law issues such as the custody of an adopted child or a grandchild and issues related to child support.

Social Security Insurance Issues

You should be able to claim your social security benefits easily as you have paid for them by working your entire life.Social security is given out based on a person’s earning history and is usually very generous. Unfortunately, claiming these benefits is sometimes one of the most challenging things for people after retirement. It can create a dispute over eligibility or uncashed checks, and you may require the help of an attorney to fight this battle with the city government.

There are many challenges throughout our lives, and old age which is meant to be peaceful is actually a tough ride. These issues can seriously make an impact on your retirement life by creating stress and dealing with a ton of paperwork. Health care and long term planning are essential before you think about retiring. Legal matters and concerns should be appropriately handled by the help of an attorney so that you have a glorious life after retirement.

Your lawyer will be there to disclose your will after the event of your passing, but it is your job to make sure whatever is in the will is acceptable to all of your children and that they respect your wishes to avoid any unnecessary dispute over estate, land, business shares, and personal assets. Some attorneys specialize in elderly law; they can guide you through everything from estate planning to health care proxy issues. They are here to help you and provide you with the best legal advice including potential taxing issues.