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April 26, 2024

Estate Planning Solutions for Solo Seniors

Many of my clients come into my office without children, and often without any living family, or their family members are older and sicker than they are. An essential part of estate planning involves appointing someone to manage your financial and healthcare decisions if you become incapacitated.

For clients with no family, finding a trustworthy person to take on these roles can be challenging. Some are fortunate enough to have friends who have become like family, who can be designated as trustees and agents under their powers of attorney. However, for those not so fortunate, options are limited. One could appoint a professional fiduciary, although there’s always a risk they may not be as honest as hoped. Another option is to approach friends who might not be close enough to consider family.

Unfortunately, the group of people without family is growing, and I have yet to find a perfect solution. The best course of action is to actively seek and identify trustworthy individuals while you are able to make these decisions. If you live with dementia or another condition that impairs your capacity, you become extremely vulnerable to exploitation by dishonest actors or even state intervention.

I recommend considering the friends you trust, asking for their help, and ensuring everything is documented legally. So, if you’re ready to start planning, give me a call.

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Geisler Patterson Law


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