May is “Elder Law Month”.
The National Association of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) is sponsoring a nation wide effort to urge people to take action now to obtain the following essential estate planning documents: Will, Financial Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney, Living Will, and a “Digital Diary” or a listing of assets and personal information. We all know that planning while you are still competent is essential to successful aging and a successful transition of assets to your heirs. We also know that procrastination and failing to plan can be disastrous. Yet over half of the over 50 population do not have even a basic will or power of attorney. NAELA has set forth a deadline age of 55 by which time everyone should have at least the basic documents in place. The reason for the selection of age 55 is that for most child rearing is over or lessened, people have more time to plan, and their needs are more like the needs they will have as they age. Age 55 is also a time before significant aging makes planning more difficult. It is also when most careers have stabilized and retirement is on the minds of most people. If you have the essential estate planning documents- Wonderful! If you do not, now is the time! Everyday I see the hardships caused by loved ones failing to plan. Encourage everyone you know to take action now!