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How Long Ago Did You Write Your Will? Ohio Seniors Should Review Their Estate Plans With an Elder Law Attorney

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How Long Ago Did You Write Your Will? Ohio Seniors Should Review Their Estate Plans With an Elder Law Attorney

If you are like most Americans, you probably wrote a Will when your children were young. Your primary goal was to name guardians for your children and an executor of your estate in case something happened to you and your spouse and to make sure all of your assets would be used for the care of your children. Now, your children are grown with children of their own, and you are enjoying retirement. Have you given that Will a second thought? If not, it’s time!

An Elder Law Attorney’s Perspective on Legacy Planning

At each stage of your life—newly married, raising young children, empty nest, retirement, or assisted living—you have different financial needs and thoughts about the future. At each of those stages, you should have revisited your estate plan to make sure it met your wishes for your assets if you had become incapacitated or died at that point in your life. For people who have lived a long life and are now thinking about the legacy they want to leave behind, an elder law attorney is best equipped to help them. When you meet with the team at Jarvis Law Office, we will make sure you have the following important documents in place and that they reflect your current goals:


If you are one of those people who haven’t looked at their Will since they first wrote it, it’s time for a new one. As a senior, you no longer have to worry about guardianships for children, but you do have to make sure your Will reflects your current wishes, names people who are still alive and in your good graces, and includes the assets and property that are in your name now.

Powers of Attorney

It is especially important at this stage of your life that you have named trusted people to serve as your financial and healthcare powers of attorney. These people will pay your bills and make important decisions about your medical care if you become unable to do so. For older people, it is usually a better idea to name an adult child than a spouse to serve as a power of attorney.

Living trusts

Trusts serve many purposes, including tax savings, qualifying for government assistance to pay for long-term care, donating to a charity, supporting children with special needs, and stipulating exactly how and when you want heirs to inherit. Revocable living trusts you established years ago can be revised if circumstances have changed.

Planning for the possibility that you or your spouse may one day need a nursing home is essential at this stage of your life. Long-term care can be paid for by personal assets, Medicaid, VA benefits, and long-term care insurance, but most people need to plan ahead to be able to afford the high cost of this kind of care.

Beneficiary designations.

This is an important time to review who you have named in life insurance policies, retirement savings accounts, and any other payable-upon-death accounts to make sure you still want them as beneficiaries.

It is important that you take these steps with an elder law and estate planning attorney while you are of sound mind. If you have recently been diagnosed with the early stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, it is even more important to do this as soon as possible.

How We Can Help With Your Wealth & Legacy Planning

Estate plans created by younger people tend to focus on caring for those they might leave behind by their untimely death. When you revisit your plan as an older person, you have the luxury of thinking about your legacy. How do you want to be remembered after you are gone? What kind of message can you send through your Will and certain kinds of trusts? At Jarvis Law Office, we are committed to helping seniors create legacy plans that will speak for them long after they are gone. Contact us today to get started today.

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