The aging process does not typically unfold the exact same way in any two people's lives. As you get older, it's natural for your concerns in life to shift. For instance, when you were in your twenties, you likely focused on building a career in Louisiana or getting married. Now that you are in the later years of life, you might focus more on your health and how to provide for your loved ones when you're gone, which estate planning helps you do.
You might be one of many people who tend to cringe when they hear the words "estate planning." There is definitely a lot of stigma attached to the term, which causes many people to procrastinate when it comes to executing an estate plan. The problem is that, if you wait too long, it can affect your options.
Can you relate to these issues?
Many elders say they don't like to think about or discuss their mortality, so they avoid the estate planning topic. Others already have certain health concerns, but they somehow feel that signing estate documents will draw unwanted attention to that fact.
Are you afraid to designate one of your adult children as a power of attorney because you fear that he or she will put you in a nursing home? Are you concerned about legal fees that might arise if you hire an attorney to help you execute an estate plan? These are some of the most common reasons older people procrastinate when it comes to their estates.
The sooner, the better
While developing arthritis, high blood pressure or some other physical ailment later in life would not necessarily impede your ability to establish an estate plan, mental health problems might as you must be of sound mind to sign legal documents.
Also, if you sign estate documents while you're in good health, you might have access to financial options regarding possible future long-term care that you might not have if you try to execute an estate plan after your mental or physical health has declined.
Less likelihood of family discord
When you execute an estate plan, you are maintaining control over many aspects in your life. You can decide what will happen to your assets or how people should use your money. You can incorporate instructions regarding emergency medical care and other issues that may come into play at some point down the line.
When there is no estate plan, it often leads to family disagreements. In fact, sometimes siblings or other loved ones get so angry they stop talking to each other. Fights over a parent's money or medical care or even funeral arrangements can escalate until there is a serious and perhaps permanent rift between family members.
How to avoid such problems
Some Louisiana elders want to avoid hiring attorneys because it costs money. However, in the long run, allowing someone well-versed in estate planning law to review a prospective plan and provide guidance and support might wind up saving an estate owner money.
A good place to start is to discuss your wishes and plans with your loved ones, and then you can reach out for additional support as needed.