Estate Planning Basics for Older Adults

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Senior Finances Basics of Estate Planning in Oakville, ON

Seniors who take a proactive approach to estate planning have the best ability to determine how their assets will be distributed after their death. Waiting until cognitive issues or other challenges arise could make it necessary for aging adults to entrust these decisions to others. Following are a few simple estate planning tips seniors can put to use. 

Recognize the Need for Estate Planning

It isn’t necessary to own a lot of homes to take on the estate planning process. If seniors have any items of value they would like to leave to others, this process is essential. Any special directives people have that aren’t put in writing aren’t likely to get carried out after they’ve passed away. Taking the time to complete this process will simplify the distribution of assets for surviving loved ones and ensure everything goes exactly where it’s supposed to. 

Planning for your loved one’s future should also include considerations about his or her ability to continue aging in place. Living alone at home in the golden years can present a few unique challenges. Trust elderly home care professionals to help your senior loved one maintain a higher quality of life while he or she lives with an illness and performs the daily tasks of living. 

Draft a Will

All adults should have wills. If a will was drafted in the past, this document will need to be revised at least once every 10 years to reflect any changes in assets, beneficiaries, and executors, among other things. The will is the cornerstone of the estate plan, given it serves as an official declaration of how assets should be disbursed and how final affairs will be handled, including burial preferences and other wishes the testator might have. 

It’s also essential for your parent to communicate his or her preference for continuing to live at home or moving to an assisted living facility as he or she gets older. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to assisted living facilities. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading Oakville home care service agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.

Understand the Estate Tax System

Although Canada doesn’t have a true “estate tax,” so to speak, a final tax return for the deceased must be filed during the year of death, and it must include all income earned up to the time of death. One common exception to this tax rule is when assets are passed on to a living spouse or partner. Working with a financial advisor is a great way to learn more about these laws and their implications for any items of value that will be transferred to others. It’s also an important step in ensuring these gifts have a positive impact on loved ones. 

Decide How Monies Will Be Spent

Estate planning also gives seniors the ability to determine how their remaining monies will be spent. The most common method of doing this is by supplementing a will with a trust. For instance, some seniors may want to reserve funds to cover their grandchildren’s college costs or pay for any special needs other family members might have. When there are more assets to disburse, trusts provide an easy way to ensure these assets are used wisely. 

Many seniors begin their estate planning after being diagnosed with serious illnesses or experiencing major injuries. Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Oakville, ON, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver. If you need professional home care for your loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (905) 592-0085.

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