Needs to happen well before you are in your 70's. Additionally, if there are special needs people that are receiving valuable government benefits, you cannot just "will" them things or leave them money. If that happens, those people can and will be disqualified from receiving government benefits.

This just happened in my own family. My sisters former out of state spouse just died, leaving their adult intellectually disabled, autistic and seizure disordered son a sizeable life insurance policy, a house, etc. Now, the son is unable to settle the estate, cannot claim a penny of it lest he loses the entirety of valuable government benefits. His mother has hired two attorneys at considerable cost to unsnarl this beast. First she had to get guardianship (which is a huge lifelong responsibility where you must answer to the court) to handle all his affairs, then all the inherited assets are placed in a special needs trust, and on and on.

Proper legal counsel in these matters is absolutely crucial and can assist in answering a lot of these questions. There are many ways to leave assets, and counsel specializing in this arena can be quite helpful.

There is nothing more important if you want to depart this world with things being in the right, to the best of your ability.

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