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Who Will Take Care of Me When I'm Older?

by Sheryl Vieira

As we get older, the reality is that at some point, we will all most likely need help managing our financial affairs and health care concerns. If you have no family to help you, or your family is unable to assist you due to distance and/or other issues, know that there are local compassionate professionals ready to assist you with your needs. It is never too early to start establishing a relationship with professionals such as an attorney, and a trust company who you feel is actively looking out for your interests as opposed to their own, and can point you in the right direction according to your needs. The right people will be credible and make you feel comfortable, regardless of how large or small your portfolio may be.  When you find the right match for you, they can hold your hand and help you through your greatest struggles. 

Financial and Health Care Concerns

There are financial and health related documents that can be put in place in your lifetime that can name an individual or corporation, depending on the document, you designate to make decisions on your behalf when you are no longer able to make them yourself and/or if you need help with making decisions, and also to name a preneed guardian for you to avoid a court appointed guardian in the event you are deemed unable to handle your affairs. The time to get these documents in place is before you need them.  Having these documents in place before you actually need them makes it easier on your family and/or the corporation you designate to act in your place.  You will need to consult an attorney to discuss and draft these documents for you.

Depending on your financial and personal situation, another document to discuss with your attorney and/or trust company is the possibility of establishing a revocable living trust. When you establish a living trust, there are several options when naming a trustee and/or successor trustee depending on your personal situation. You can serve as your own trustee, or if you do not wish or are unable to serve, a family member, a corporate trustee such as a trust company or an independent individual can serve as your trustee. The trustee has the responsibility of managing your assets which are titled in the name of your trust, accounting to the beneficiaries of your trust, among many other responsibilities.  Another benefit of a living trust is that the trustee has the ability, depending on how your trust is drafted, to be the guardian of your property if you are unable to act. If you are naming a corporate Trustee, you might want to make sure that the company/entity you are naming has trust powers in Florida (if you reside in Florida), and possibly consider a local presence for convenience and accessibility.  


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