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Caring For Generations

Putting Wheels on Estate Planning

by | Feb 15, 2023 | Uncategorized

“Regardless of the explanation or the severity, an increase in the number of vehicle incidents is a good indicator that it’s time to talk to your senior parent about whether it’s time to stop driving,” explains. While giving up driving can be a difficult process, options such as ride-sharing apps and public transportation can be explored.

Sometimes it’s easier for a senior to let go of their car when they know that it will have a new life with a family in need, Working Wheels explains. A car may be donated, for example:

  1. to help veterans 
  2. to help animals in need of rescue 
  3. to help any certified IRS 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, for example, or

If it’s not yet time for an elder to have to give up driving his or her own car, one estate planning technique that can be used is adding a younger family member to the title of the vehicle as a TOD (Transfer on Death) beneficiary. That designation may be added to an Indiana Certificate of Title at the time of purchase of a car. If the senior already has title to the vehicle, you may apply for new title containing the TOD designation by working through the local BMV license branch.

The National Institute on Aging offers advice to younger family members who need to talk to someone about no longer driving:

  1. Using “I” messages rather than “you” messages (I am concerned about your safety…)
  2. Be clear that the goal is for the older driver to continue the activities they enjoy..
  3. Being supportive and broaching the topic gradually.

    While age-related changes in vision, physical functioning, and the ability to reason and remember, as well as some diseases and medications, might affect some older adults’ driving abilities, the good news, says, is that older adults are more likely to have safer driving behaviors.

At Geyer Law, coping with sensitive planning factors for seniors dictates a “together is better” approach, in which all the advisors of a client work together to formulate and reformulate the plan as needed. Family conferences allow the clients to openly share with loved ones their values and fears – not only around driving issues, but around all the thinking that has gone into creating the estate plan.

– by Cara Chittenden, Associate Attorney with Rebecca W. Geyer & Associates