The baby boomer generation is running headfirst into old age as 10,000 of them reach the age of 65 every day. For boomers, the question is not whether they should have an estate plan, but what kinds of issues their estate plans need to focus on. If you are a baby boomer and don’t have an estate plan, you need to get started on the planning process as soon as possible. Further, if you’ve already created a plan but have not reviewed it in some time, there are a handful of issues you will need to pay special attention to as you go about the planning process. Here are a couple of baby boomer estate planning issues you will want to think about.
Baby Boomers and Incapacitation
The chances that you might suffer from a serious illness or injury that leaves you incapacitated increases as you get older. While most people will never have to worry about becoming incapacitated, the prospect that you might lose your ability to communicate or make choices is something your plan must absolutely address. There are a variety of incapacity planning tools available today. These tools include durable financial powers of attorney, advance medical directives, and more.
When baby boomers create incapacity plans, they will want to keep some important considerations in mind. For example, you will be asked to choose one or more representatives who will be able to make decisions for you should you lose capacity. If you choose people of your same age, you need to realize that they too might similarly be incapacitated or unable to make decisions for you should the time come for them to step into their decision-making roles. This is why baby boomer estate plans need to include, at the minimum, alternate representatives named in each of your incapacity planning tools. You might also want to make sure to choose someone who is significantly younger than you who will be able to become your representative.
Baby Boomers and Medicaid plans
If you are incapacitated you might need to spend at least some time in an eldercare facility, such as a nursing home. Such long-term care facilities often have very high prices associated with them, and not planning ahead for this possibility could mean that you have to spend a lot of your personal assets to pay for these costs.
This is why many baby boomers might need to consider creating a Medicaid plan as a part of their comprehensive estate plan. With the Medicaid plan, you will be able to use Medicaid to pay for long-term care costs, but remember, Medicaid plans work most optimally if you create the plan well before you actually need it.