Financial and legal services provide valuable assistance for both retirement and advanced care planning. Ensuring that finances, care and treatment preferences, and other legal issues are in order provides peace of mind to both older adults and their loved ones. This fact sheet will provide an overview of the most common types of financial and legal services for retirement and advanced care planning, with a focus on California. Terminology and regulations may vary from state to state. It is important to note that several services may need to be engaged to complete certain types of planning.
Financial services generally provide assistance with financial planning (also known as retirement or estate planning). Financial planning is the overarching long-term process to establish goals and implement a plan to meet them. Estate planning, a subset of financial planning, is the process of designating who will manage and/or receive your assets upon incapacitation or death.
Certified Financial Planners (CFP), Certified Public Accountants (CPA), and other types of financial advisors generally provide financial services. There is typically a fee associated with these services, although affordable and/or free services are available.
Legal services generally provide assistance with advanced care planning, certain types of financial planning, and other legal issues that impact older adults and their loved ones. Estate planning attorneys can assist with trusts and wills, powers of attorney, and advance healthcare directives. Elder law attorneys can assist with conservatorships/guardianships, elder abuse, and other general legal issues.
There is typically a fee associated with these services, although affordable and/or free services are available.