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How to protect assets into old age

According to a survey from Wells Fargo, 20 percent of Americans who are 65 or older become victims of financial abuse. However, only 10 percent of people in that age group think that it can happen to them. Older New York residents may be more vulnerable to such abuse if they lack estate plan documents that can help manage their finances if they are incapacitated.

Ideally, these documents will be kept someplace that is both secure and accessible to family members such as an online server. When preparing an estate plan, it is a good idea to create a set of priorities and start working on those items first. For instance, a person's top priorities could be writing a will, naming beneficiaries and titling assets properly. Powers of attorney for both health care and financial matters are among the most important estate plan documents a person should have according to Wells Fargo.

While many people consider their finances to be a private matter, older folks should be having conversations about money with family members. This makes it easier for them to adhere to their wishes if an individual becomes incapacitated. Individuals who currently have an estate plan are urged to review it on a regular basis with their financial advisers to ensure that it still meets their needs.

Creating an estate plan can provide for the protection of assets while alive or after death. With a financial power of attorney, an individual retains more control over how his or her money is spent or how assets are used to pay for long-term or other care needs. An attorney can help create these and other estate plan documents.

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