Go to a California gym, and you will see many middle-aged and senior people. Retired or not, they are adamant that exercise and a healthy lifestyle will keep them going for decades. Although their mental and physical youth is worth praise, baby-boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) are not always reasonable when it comes to accept the fact that they, too, are mortal.
According to a recent poll among boomers, 64% do not have a living will or a health care proxy.
Healthy food and regular exercise notwithstanding, the odds of dying accidentally, suddenly, or after an incurable illness increase year after year. From the ripe age of 50-55, it becomes increasingly necessary and urgent for a person to write a will. This is to prepare for the day when that person will have left this world.
Baby boomers have not been immune to divorces and separations. Many have remarried with a spouse having children on their own. Consequently, this often creates awkward, conflicting, and emotionally charged situations for survivors who almost never talk to each other. However, they will need to agree on the distribution of the decedent’s assets.
Establish a Health Care Proxy
One often-overlooked aspect is the necessity of establishing a health care proxy or power of attorney. With this document, the person allows a friend or relative to make medical care decisions if they become incapacitated.
The proxy and the will need to follow certain legal requirements and be signed by witnesses. Additionally, it’s recommended to inform all members of the family that these documents exist and where they’re stored.
Above all, people who have accumulated assets and have a family and are getting old (whether or not they are in good physical condition) need to think of the stress they might impose their survivors after their death.
The stress may overwhelm the survivors’ right to grieve the deceased in peace if:
- The deceased did not leave their paperwork in order or updated.
- The deceased never formally communicated their intentions.
- There are latent conflicts between the potential heirs and family.
Talk to San Diego estate planning and probate attorney Scott Grossman about your situation and the questions you have. Call our lawyers at (951) 683-3704 or (888) 443-6590 for your FREE 30-minute telephone consultation. Also, order now our FREE book The Insider’s Guide to California Probate and Trust Administration.
AttorneyThe Grossman Law Firm, APC · 525 B Street, Suite 1500, San Diego, CA 92101 · (951) 523-8307