Estate Planning for Seniors Should Be Done Before a Life-Changing Event

Senior citizens should be enjoying their golden years with their loved ones and not worrying about end of life care. But with more than 120 million Americans not having updated estate plans or any long-term financial plans, according to the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils, seniors are putting their assets and health at risk. National Estate Planning Awareness Week occurs Oct. 17-23 and reminds seniors and their loved ones to take the time to plan when you are healthy and able to get the care you deserve and enjoy the benefits of all the years of hard work.

A senior should take proactive steps to protect their assets, create a living will, and make their last wishes known to family members and their main doctors. These decisions are difficult, but planning ahead can provide more comfort and preservation of a person’s savings than if decisions are made when the senior is chronically ill or incapacitated. A recent study by the American Society of Clinical Oncology showed the substantial impact of out-of-pocket costs. Close to half of the patients had used all of their savings on health care, 49 percent had to borrow money to afford prescriptions, 30 percent did not even fill medications, and 20 percent decided to take less medications than their doctor advised. Anyone with a chronic illness should not have to make this choice as they compromise their health, savings and undoubtedly decrease their quality of life.

Individuals can take great steps to save money and lessen burdens on family members by meeting with a skilled estate planning attorney before a senior’s health takes a drastic turn for the worse. Adequate planning will help a senior confront challenges and death with dignity.

Littman Krooks LLP counsels seniors and families to access government benefits as well as plan for health care needs and personal decisions. Our New York City, White Plains and Fishkill estate planning attorneys and elder law attorneys are accomplished in comprehensive estate planning including income, tax guidance, and probate matters. To learn more about New York estate planning, visit

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