Creating an estate plan is often much more than deciding what property should go to whom. Usually, a person must think about his or her own future in addition to what should happen to the estate. For example: What should happen when you reach an age where you are unable to fully take care of yourself? Should you purchase long-term care insurance?
Old age isn't for "sissies," warned the legendary actress Betty Davis years ago. The financial downturn since 2007 has made those words truer than ever. And they have made estate planning and elder law issues more and more important.
The debt ceiling debate is now last week's news, but the financial shoes continue to drop. Standard & Poor's downgraded the credit rating on U.S. debt, prompting a substantial sell-off of stocks today on Wall Street. And the economic turbulence affecting the U.S. economy is unlikely to end anytime soon.
For decades, American workers had it figured out. Many people would spend their careers at a single company and then retire at 65 with pensions that would carry them through their senior years. Everyone did not get a gold watch, but retiring with a good pension was often a reasonable expectation.