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Estate planning can stop financial elder abuse

Many people in Colorado have important gaps or errors in their estate planning that can be rectified through review and the creation of additional important documents. As people age, it becomes increasingly critical to not only develop a plan for the future of assets but also to put in place a framework to address key concerns about healthcare, medical treatment and finances in case of incapacity. Around 40 percent of all older Americans do not have documents in place that can help to protect them and their future in the case of a serious illness or death.

When people do not have key estate planning documents intact, they can be at greater risk of financial exploitation or elder abuse. Financial abuse happens at a far greater rate to elderly people, and many underestimate the threat. Approximately 20 percent of Americans over 65 are subject to some form of financial abuse, but only 10 percent think that it could affect them. By creating key documents earlier in life, people can help protect themselves as well as secure their own peace of mind and that of their loved ones.

In addition to creating these documents, it is important to store them wisely and accessibly. In the case of a person's death or incapacity, their beneficiaries need to be able to access their wills, powers of attorneys and other plans. Online options can help people store their documents effectively.

Financial experts note that everyone should have a will, a power of attorney for financial issues, a healthcare power of attorney and an advance healthcare directive. An estate planning lawyer may help people create these key documents and make important decisions as well as develop a comprehensive plan that can include trusts, insurance plans and other methods of managing assets.

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