Whether you are recently divorced, never married, or widowed, a single retiree has a greater need to begin estate planning than married people do. As a single person facing retirement and the challenges that come with growing older, you’ll need to create a plan that allows you to maintain as high a quality of life as possible while still allowing for the possibility of receiving outside assistance.
A single retiree’s estate plan will include same basic documents that other estate plans include, such as a will, powers of attorney, and medical directives. However, you’ll also have to take into consideration your ability to obtain assistance and elder care services should you ever require them.
For example, single retirees can often benefit from developing a Medicaid plan that they can use if they ever need to enter a nursing home. Medicaid planning requires you to act years in advance in order to use Medicaid to pay for nursing home expenses. You don’t need to sell all your possessions in order to receive Medicaid, but Medicaid planning does require careful preparation.
Additionally, if you plan on living at home you will need to take precautions, especially if you live alone. If you don’t live with anyone and do not have close friends or relatives nearby who can assist you when you need them, you’ll have to prepare for the possibility of outside assistance. This might include, for example, hiring in-home caregivers, contractors to make your home more senior friendly, or temporary assistants who can visit you when needed.
Byrd : Garrett, PLLC is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.