How to Manage your Estate and Legal Affairs in Later Life

Although life after retirement is simpler in some ways, there are still several important legal issues that have to be managed. Keeping on top of these issues will protect your assets and give you and your relatives peace of mind.

Estate management planning and ensuring that everything proceeds smoothly when you or your spouse dies is one of the most important aspects of later life legal planning. Will drafting is just one part of this (although possibly the most fundamental).

If you were to have a serious medical condition or emergency, you probably have definite views about the types of treatment and care you would like to either receive or refuse. If you are conscious and in control of your mental faculties you can discuss your wishes with the medical team. But what if you aren’t?

Unless you have advanced directives or a Living Will in place, medical staff and your relatives may be placed in a position of trying to predict, interpret or even negotiate over your wishes; for example, whether to receive life-sustaining treatment.

Closely linked to this is the need to consider Lasting Power of Attorney. These legal measures allow you to nominate people you trust who will act on your behalf with regard to your personal welfare or property and financial affairs.

Care Funding

Arranging asset ownership to minimise care fees is increasingly important. Care home fees can easily run to thousands of pounds each month and can soon eat such a large part of your estate. This is an area of later life planning that nobody should ignore.

The rules regarding state funding for care and how your assets and savings affect eligibility are complex. Getting expert advice is a good idea. At the very least you should have a plan for how your care would be funded should you need it. You can find out more by reading our Care Home Funding factsheet.

If you want to know more about all of the legal issues facing you in later life download our Elderly Client Factsheet, or get in touch with us on 01934 623 501 and one of our specialist later life planning solicitors will talk you through your options.

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