Author Topic: Estate/Elder Planning w/ no family  (Read 1404 times)


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Estate/Elder Planning w/ no family
« on: March 28, 2019, 03:14:47 PM »
Hello everyone,

Yesterday I attended the funeral of a co-worker's 42-year old husband who died from cancer. I began to wonder about what would happen if I were to become ill.

I will be 41-years old soon. My parents are still alive, but are elderly. I do not have any siblings, nor any family aside from my parents. I am not married, nor do I have children. I do not anticipate this situation changing.

What is the best way to plan for life as I get older or may become debilitated by a serious illness? I do have a couple of pets that would need to be taken care of and I do not have any friends that would be willing to take them.

My specific questions are:

1) Is a trust the best way to make sure the pets are taken care of?
2) What happens to my residence and personal effects if I become ill or incapacitated? Does the government have individuals that will act as guardians or powers of attorney for someone like myself? If so, how do I find those individuals? Who would go through my property and list my residence for sale?
3) I likely will not have the funds to afford long term care insurance. Any other ideas for protecting myself in that area?
4) Is it best to sell my residence if still alive in my 60s and move in to a senior-living type arrangement so there is someone around in the event of a medical emergency? Does the government have any programs where employees check on the elderly on a regular basis to make sure they are okay?

I realize that these are silly questions that are probably just a result of too much worrying on my part. I had hoped that I would have more of a support system (i.e., family) as I have gotten older, but that has not been the case. I appreciate any insight. Thank you! :-)


  • Bristles
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Re: Estate/Elder Planning w/ no family
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2019, 03:45:17 PM »
I am 60, not married no children or pets and live alone.  I don't have any plans to sell my home and move into assisted living at my age  LOL!  Good thing I didn't cut my leg off cutting firewood today :-D  My step father lived alone until he was 91 years old, then moved into assisted living and passed away in less than 6 months.

I have a will, one of my younger best friends is the executor.  I have a medical directive and POA with another young friend named in case I can't make my own decisions.  Friends would look after the property until I get well or......

LTC plan would be to spend down my assets in a nicer facility then let Medicaid take over.  I have heard that if you pay your own way for a period of time you don't get kicked out but that would be something to look into as the time approaches.

Do you have friends that like your pets?

There are businesses that will act as executors of wills and trusts, I think banks will do it too.

One of my aunts is in her early 90's living on SS only, she has some kind of County or State worker who visits her every day and drives her to appointments and shopping etc. I don't know details though, plus she has one of those auto phone call things you keep on your person.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Estate/Elder Planning w/ no family
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2019, 04:31:07 PM »
What are your wishes for your pets? Any friends who want them? If so, calculate how much $ their support will cost for their lifetime, and will this to your friend. In case friend cannot, or no friend, specify a rescue or foster organization in your will that will rehome them, and consider leaving them a donation.

You need powers of attorney for both health and financial affairs today in the event you become too ill to manage them yourself -- these are a "springing" POA which goes into effect only when your doctor certifies that you are unable. You can specify parents but be sure to also specify others you trust in case your parents cannot. For health, you can specify a medical practitioner who is willing but this person cannot be your attending physician. Organize your finances so that your designated POA can easily step in.

Your state specifies estate proceeds if you die without a will and attempts to designate your next of kin as executor. Be nice to your parents or friends and get a simple will so they don't have the expense of petitioning your local government to act in your behalf. There are banking firms that will wrap up your estate for a fee -- you should choose and specify one as the last one in your list of executors in your will.

We've had older relatives sell their house that they no longer could properly take care of and move into a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), sometimes known as a life-care community, a type of retirement community in the U.S. where a continuum of aging care needs—from independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing care—can all be met within the community. Typically these require a buy in that refunds 90% when the resident moves out (usually when dead). The catch to a CCRC is that you must move in while you are still capable of independent living. Many have a wait list.

Start organizing your affairs now. An excellent guide is Get It Together: Organize Your Records So Your Family Won't Have To, by Melanie Cullen.