Thanks to medical advancements, people in Kansas City and nationwide are living longer than ever. In fact, it is possible for a person to live into their 80’s, 90’s or beyond. While this longevity is a good thing, particularly when a person is able to maintain a comfortable quality of life, it does raise some interesting estate planning questions. For example, when one lives to an old age, they may have to plan not just to whom they will pass on their assets, but also when they will do so.
Keeping control of one’s assets until one passes away may not always be the best strategy. However, there are estate-planning options that people have, should they expect to live to an old age. Often, an estate plan can be drawn up in which a person’s assets are passed on to his or her heirs before he or she passes away. This can help prevent family disputes or a person’s property from “disappearing.”
Moreover, should a person develop dementia, Alzheimer’s or be unable to advocate for him or herself, it is possible that he or she could be exploited for his or her wealth. This could lead not just to ill will between family members, but also could open the door to litigation. Therefore, transferring assets while one is still of sound mind can benefit both the person and his or her heirs.
In the end, it is possible to construct an estate plan that keeps longevity in mind and allows for the transfer of at least some of a person’s assets prior to death. That being said, such plans need to be legally sound to accomplish what they intend. Therefore, it can help to consult with an attorney, who can help a person draft an estate plan that meets the needs of all involved.
Source: Forbes, “Estate Planning For The Ultra-Wealthy When Living To 120 Or Beyond,” Russ Alan Prince, Jan. 18, 2017