Helping an aging loved one get his or her affairs in order is never going to be easy, but that project must be taken care of early on if you want to avoid major problems down the road. If your loved one passes away or becomes incapacitated in any way, you need to make sure you know exactly what his or her wishes were. Planning your loved one’s estate can provide peace of mind and make your life much easier in the coming years.
Start an Open & Honest Conversation
Broaching the subject might be difficult, which is why you should try to speak with your loved one while he or she is still physically and mentally healthy. Talking about complex legal and medical issues when your loved one’s mental faculties are failing or he or she is extremely sick could be challenging. During the initial conversation, you might want to cover topics such as where your loved one would like his or her assets to go when he or she passes away and what type of funeral he or she wants. Also make sure to discuss issues such as long-term healthcare and where your loved one wants to live in his or her later years.
Your loved one may want to live at home as long as possible, and high-quality professional home care can make that easier. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Lakewood, CO, Home Care Assistance is a leader in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
Go Through Their Assets
Finding and categorizing all your loved one’s assets could be one of the most time-consuming steps in this process. Even seniors who aren’t wealthy often have a variety of physical and digital assets, and gathering that information might be difficult. In addition to collecting information on bank and retirement accounts, you’ll also need to take a look at physical assets, including homes, vehicles, jewelry, and collectibles.
Establish a Living Trust
There are quite a few reasons many seniors are now creating living trusts. One of the biggest benefits of a living trust is that an individual’s assets will be kept out of probate when he or she passes away. That legal document will also protect your loved one’s assets if he or she ever becomes severely injured or incapacitated. A living trust essentially creates a private contract that dictates what happens to a person’s assets following a life-altering or life-threatening event.
Discuss Medical & Legal Powers of Attorney
Some older adults become completely incapacitated at some point, and that type of situation can lead to serious legal issues. If your loved one is incapacitated and he or she hasn’t assigned medical and legal powers of attorney, you might have to petition the court for guardianship, and that process could take quite some time. When seniors give family members medical and legal powers of attorney, those individuals will be able to make choices regarding their loved ones’ medical treatment and finances.
If your loved one gives you medical power of attorney, you’ll have the authority to hire a home caregiver for him or her. When researching agencies that provide elderly home care, families are usually looking for flexible care plans, compassionate and highly trained caregivers, and 24/7 availability. Whether you need respite care to take a break from your caregiving duties or your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, you can rely on Home Care Assistance.
Consider Working with an Estate Planning Attorney
Estate planning can become very complicated in the blink of an eye, and you might want to consider hiring a legal representative who has quite a bit of experience handling this process. In many cases, an estate planning attorney will carry out almost all these tasks so you don’t have to worry about determining assets and writing legally binding contracts. Your loved one’s attorney can also act as a trustee, which gives the attorney the legal power to carry out your loved one’s wishes after he or she passes away.
If your loved one’s preferences include living at home throughout his or her later years, it’s a good idea to plan ahead for the possibility he or she may need help with the activities of daily living. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to an assisted living facility. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading Lakewood home care service agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (303) 987-5992 to schedule a free in-home consultation.