Everyone ages at a different pace, and everyone deals with issues as they age. Some will be physically and mentally active into their nineties, and others will suffer through the experience of terrible illness or disease when they are in their early fifties. Being in control is important to everyone. Growing old and accepting help can be difficult when you start down the road of infirmity; but there are many things that seniors can do in advance of losing mental and physical faculties that will allow them to maintain some control over their own well-being when they no longer are able to care for or make decisions for themselves down the road.
Golden sunsets, mentally and physically, captures our dreams for our future as seniors. For some this picture is true, but for others, the skies are dreary due to health issues, financial crises, and other unforeseen circumstances.
There are some things that we can control, and there are others that we cannot. Most of the people that we help at our law firm are in crisis – they haven’t planned, have lost control, and are at risk of losing everything that they have. In most cases, we can help them keep their remaining assets. However, we prefer to see advance planners; planning ahead is an astute way that seniors are able stay in control as they grow older, even though it is often difficult for them to ask for help.
Seniors need legal documents that are very different than their younger peers. Once you get into your senior years, you need another set of documents to designate a trusted person who you can ask for help in order to pay bills, to follow your instructions, and to protect your assets for your benefit when you no longer are sharp enough to do so yourself. It is much better to be in control of these decisions now rather than wait until later. In addition, choosing where you may want to live when you begin to need assistance with your activities of daily living, such as moving in with family members, an assisted living facility, or hiring in-home care, is something that you can contemplate ahead of time and discuss with your family now for when the time comes. The best option for maintaining control is creating a trust agreement as a way to protect your assets and care for yourself and your spouse as well as set out a distribution plan for your family. Finally, purchasing long-term care insurance (if you are healthy and can afford it) will ensure that your long-term care will be paid for when the time comes, allowing you to rest easy about your financial affairs. Those without long term care insurance need to see an elderlaw attorney to create a plan that will put them in the best situation for government assistance. An eldercare plan is important for anyone who hopes to grow old. Unfortunately, it is too easy to put off and that’s why we see so many families in crisis. There are many important things that you can do in advance and you should do it today before any crisis; stop procrastinating!
In order to learn how you can maintain control as you age, contact an experienced Elder Law attorney today. Call W.G. Alexander Associates to schedule an appointment!
Attorney Bill Alexander discussed these issues and more this past Tuesday on W.G. Alexander & Associates’ radio program, “Asset Protection Today,” on TalkRadio 850 WPTK (AM). Be sure to listen every Tuesday morning from 9:00-10:00 AM. To listen to this week’s show, please visit WPTF’s on demand show blog by clicking here.