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Respect your elders.” This is a phrase we’ve all heard a million times, and for good reason. However, respecting your elders doesn’t just include thanking your grandma for the extra $20 she slips you when you visit her. You can truly help the elderly by assisting them in setting up an estate plan. Senior Citizens’ Day is coming up on the 21st, and there is no better gift than the peace of mind an estate plan brings.

Senior Citizens’ Day was first scheduled on August 14th, which is the date FDR passed the Social Security Act. In 1988, Ronald Reagan, officially moved the observance to the 21st, and it remains in place to raise awareness for issues affecting senior citizens. One such issue is seniors’ need for an estate plan, if they do not have one already.

Important Things to know About an Estate Plan

Elderly people should set up an estate plan containing three key documents: a health care surrogate, living will and testament, and durable power of attorney. These documents, among other elements of the estate plan, have many benefits, one of which is that they allow you to designate who will make medical and financial decisions on your behalf.

Here is a quick overview of the three:

  1. Health Care Surrogate. If you become unable to make medical decisions for yourself due to illness or injury, this person will make them on your behalf.
  2. Living Will and Testament: This written statement is a healthcare directive that allows you to manage your healthcare, even if you become incapacitated.
  3. Durable Power of Attorney: This document gives someone authorization to act on your behalf legally, with whatever range of control you, the principal (donor), give them.

While there are many more facets of an estate plan, these three are the big ones to know.

How Estate Plans Help Our Seniors

Concrete plans for the future. When you think of the future, you might feel a sense of nervousness. No one wants to leave their loved ones behind to face a legal mess in probate court. Through estate planning, your affairs are well-organized and your legacy kept intact, just the way you want it to be.

Tax advantages. As the old saying goes, two things are unavoidable: death and taxes. Luckily, estate planning concerns both, and taking advantage of US tax laws by giving gifts is a way to lessen the size of your estate and reduce your estate tax.

Funeral arrangements. Although it may be morbid to think about, preplanning your funeral will give your family peace of mind. They will be grieving, and it is burdensome to plan a funeral while you’re in mourning. Making funeral arrangements beforehand allows you to have the funeral service you want, while also taking the weight off your family’s shoulders.

Knowing you’ll be in good hands. When deciding your healthcare surrogate and POA, you will want to pick the most responsible people in your family and discuss it with them to make sure they are up to the task. We all have “that” cousin or sibling we wouldn’t want handling anything even remotely important— it is a relief to know that you are in the hands of the competent people you’ve chosen.

Estate planning is so vital to maintaining an organized future. Help a senior citizen today by encouraging them to set up an estate plan.

If you would like more information on how Wild, Felice and Partners, P.A can help with protecting your asset, providing plan for your family and building your estate plan,  please call 954-944-2855 or visit us today at