5 Steps for Aging and Estate Planning

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By Bennett Whitlock, CRPC® Private Wealth Advisor

It’s important to have the right documents in place to ensure that you have the help and care you need as you age—and that your estate is handled in the way you want. The following five steps can help:PWLiving July 2015 iStock_000016527106_Medium

1. Set up a health care proxy: Also known as a health care power of attorney, this enables you to appoint someone to make medical decisions on your behalf. Be sure to authorize this person to view your medical records.

Include instructions on tissue and organ donation, as well as medical interventions or treatments you don’t want to receive.

2. Consider creating a durable power of attorney document: You have the ability to designate an attorney-in-fact; someone you name in a power of attorney document can make financial decisions on your behalf, either effective
immediately, or at a future date. If you don’t designate someone and you become incapacitated, the courts may ppoint a guardian for you.

3. Purchase long-term care insurance: It can help you afford the type of care you desire if your health begins to fail. Long-term care insurance helps to pay for services needed for chronic care that are not generally covered by health
insurance, Medicare or Medicaid.

4. Decide how your assets will be distributed: Whether you want to establish a foundation or leave your assets to charity, family or friends, you may want to create a will. Without a will in place, your estate will be handled according to the statutes of the state in which you reside, which may not align with your goals.

5. Create a gifting plan: Under 2014 federal tax law, you can gift up to $14,000 per person to as many people as you’d
like without gift tax consequences. You can also pay college tuition for anyone without gift taxes or using any of your annual or lifetime gift tax exclusions.

Bennett Whitlock, CRPC ®, is a private wealth advisor and managing director with Whitlock Wealth Management, a franchise of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Learn more at WhitlockWealth.com or call 703-492-7732.

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