No one likes to think about their own mortality, but there comes a time when seniors must consider their options for estate planning. If your aging loved one hasn’t discussed issues such as creating a trust or what to do with his or her assets when he or she passes away, you might need to encourage him or her to do so. With a little bit of assistance and some patience, you should be able to help your loved one get his or her affairs in order.
The idea of creating a comprehensive estate plan can be daunting for many people, which is why you might want to start with this simple step. Instead of filling out complex financial documents, begin by collecting all your loved one’s important information, including a list of bank accounts and current debts, information about retirement accounts, and ownership documents for his or her physical assets.
Write a Legal Will
Every older adult should write a will and update the document at least once every few years or whenever a major life event takes place. A will is nothing more than a legal document that explicitly states where an individual would like his or her assets to go after he or she passes away. Wills can also contain other information, such as who the executor of the estate is going to be. Once the will has been written, it must be signed by two adult witnesses.
Speak with an Attorney about a Trust
While trusts and wills are similar, there are a few distinct differences. A trust is a slightly more complicated document that’s usually drafted by an estate planning attorney. This document contains comprehensive instructions regarding an individual’s assets and wealth. As an added bonus, the trust will also outline your loved one’s wishes in the event he or she is ever mentally or physically incapacitated. While trusts can be created by almost anyone, most people leave this task to an experienced attorney.
It’s also important to know how and where your parent 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. Edmonton, AB, 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.
Assign Powers of Attorney
No matter what steps your loved one takes to stay healthy, an accident could occur at any time, so he or she needs to assign power of attorney to a family member or other trusted person to make important decisions if he or she becomes incapacitated. This legal designation essentially allows another individual to take full control of someone’s finances and legal affairs by accessing bank accounts, paying bills, and transferring money as needed. In addition, your loved one can assign a medical power of attorney giving you or another individual the legal right to make decisions about your parent’s medical care if he or she is incapacitated.
If your loved one gives you medical power of attorney, you’ll have the authority to hire a home caregiver for your parent. When researching agencies that provide senior 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.
Create an Advance Medical Directive
One of the final steps in this process is preparing a document known as an advance medical directive, which explicitly states what your loved one’s wishes are regarding medical treatments and interventions if he or she ever becomes physically or mentally incapacitated. Creating this type of document is never going to be easy, but it can make the ordeal much less stressful if your loved one is ever severely injured and difficult decisions must be made.
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 life. 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 Edmonton homecare services agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (780) 977-7379.