Research shows that most retirees (53%) have a last will and testament. However, they don’t have six other crucial legal documents.
Money Talks News’ recent article entitled “6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have” says in fact, in this pandemic, 30% of retirees have none of these crucial documents — not even a will — according to the 20th annual Transamerica Retirement Survey of Retirees.
In addition, the Transamerica survey found the following among retirees:
- 32% have a power of attorney or medical proxy, which allows a designated agent to make medical decisions on their behalf
- 30% have an advance directive or living will, which states their end-of-life medical preferences to health care providers
- 28% have designated a power of attorney to make financial decisions in their stead
- 19% have written funeral and burial arrangements
- 18% have filled out a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) waiver, which allows designated people to talk to their health care and insurance providers on their behalf; and
- 11% have created a trust.
The study shows there is a big gap that retirees need to fill, if they want to be properly prepared for the end of their lives.
The coronavirus pandemic has created an even more challenging situation. Retirees can and should be taking more actions to protect their health and financial well-being. However, they may find it hard while sheltering in place.
Now more than ever, seniors may need extra motivation and support from their families and friends.
The Transamerica results shouldn’t shock anyone. That is because we have a long history of disregarding death, and very important estate planning questions. No one really wants to ponder their ultimate demise, when they can be out enjoying themselves.
However, planning your estate now will give you peace of mind. More importantly, this planning can save your heirs and loved ones a lot of headaches and stress, when you pass away.
Reference: Money Talks News (Dec. 16, 2020) “6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have”
Suggested Key Terms: Estate Planning Lawyer, Wills, Intestacy, Probate Court, Capacity, Trusts, Power of Attorney, Healthcare Directive, Living Will, HIPAA Waiver, Probate Attorney