Cunningham, Chernicoff & Warshawsky, P.C.
Call to Schedule Your Initial Consultation
717-260-3527 or 866-534-4404

Why older couples should review their wills

Most married couples name each other as beneficiaries in their wills. While this approach may make sense when both partners are young and healthy, it may not later in life.

Unintended consequences can happen when older couples do not review and make appropriate changes to the estate plans they had in place when they were younger.

Estate planning for older couples

Older couples need to do more than plan their estates. They also need to plan for disability. Here are some examples of things that can go wrong when couples do not plan for disability:

  • If the beneficiary of a will is living in a nursing home when he or she receives assets, those assets may be exhausted paying for nursing home expenses.
  • An incapacitated person may not be competent to make decisions under a power of attorney. This could lead to the need for a guardianship proceeding to determine who should make decisions.
  • A will may not provide tax or other advantages you could find in another type of estate planning document, such as an irrevocable life insurance trust.

There are many ways your estate planning can help you prepare for contingencies. For example, one partner may suffer from dementia, while the other partner remains healthy. However, just because one partner is healthy now does not mean that he or she will live longer. If the healthy partner dies first, assets and decision-making could go to the incapacitated spouse.

While you may assume an older child can step into the shoes of an incapacitated spouse, that may not be possible. Your family may need to go through a humiliating court proceeding to prove that the incapacitated partner is not competent to make decisions.

To protect your beneficiaries from unintended consequences, review your estate plan when you get older and make appropriate changes.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Contact The Law Office Of Cunningham, Chernicoff & Warshawsky, P.C.

Contact our office online, or call us at 717-260-3527 or toll free at 866-534-4404 to set up a meeting with our experienced Harrisburg bankruptcy lawyers. We offer free initial consultations in matters involving bankruptcy or personal injury.

contact us

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Cunningham, Chernicoff & Warshawsky, P.C.
2320 North 2nd Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110

Toll Free: 866-534-4404
Phone: 717-260-3527
Fax: 717-238-4809
Harrisburg Law Office Map

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 60457
Harrisburg, PA 17106

Toll Free: 866-534-4404
Phone: 717-260-3527