Estate Planning for the Elderly Essay

5534 Words Mar 25th, 2012 23 Pages
Title: Estate Planning For the Elderly
Course: TAX 6405-Gift, Estate, and Trust Taxation

Table of Contents * Introduction * Power of attorney * Trusts * Wills * Joint ownership of assets * Lifetime gifts * Long term care insurance * Conclusion

Introduction
You may have heard a phrase like, “70 is the new 50.” There are large numbers of seniors living into their 80s and 90s. Estate taxation and planning has become a bigger concern, especially for baby boomers. There is a wide range of laws regarding the elderly and disabled. The law of the elderly and disabled has become more complex in recent years. Lawyers and financial planners who specialize in elder law assist with matters affecting the autonomy
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A Health Care Power of Attorney should not be confused with a living will, even though both are considered "Advance Health Care Directives". This is because instructions are given on what shall happen in the event that the person becomes unable to make future health care decisions on his/her own. A Living Will only allows the person to express his/her wishes concerning life-sustaining procedures. Health Care Power of Attorney becomes effective only when one does not have the capacity to give or withdraw informed consent regarding one’s health care.
General, special or health care power of attorney that contains special durability provisions is a "durable" power of attorney. For example, if a person becomes mentally incompetent while already having a valid power of attorney document, a durability provision will allow this document to stay in effect. Such a document can be signed to prepare for the possibility of a client becoming mentally incompetent due to illness or an accident. In this scenario, the power of attorney would not go into effect unless a doctor certifies that the person is mentally incapacitated. It is important to select someone of trust to be an agent.
The durable power of attorney ends upon the death of the principal. In some states, if a spouse is the attorney-in-fact, a divorce will automatically terminate the durable power of attorney.
In most cases,…

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