If not now, when?
Many people dread thinking about death, and most put off planning for it. If you’re caring for an aging relative, or if you’re over age 65, now is the time to do so.
One of the first things you can help a senior with is setting up a Living Will.
AnÂ advance health care directive, also known asÂ living will,Â personal directive,Â advance directive, orÂ advance decision, is a set of written instructions that a person gives that specify what actions should be taken for their health if they are no longer able to make decisions due to illness or incapacity. The instruction appoints someone, usually called an agent, to make such decisions on their behalf. A living will is one form of advance directive, leaving instructions for treatment. Another form authorizes a specific type ofÂ power of attorneyÂ orÂ health care proxy, where someone is appointed by the individual to make decisions on their behalf when they are incapacitated. People may also have a combination of both. People are often encouraged to complete both documents to provide comprehensive guidance regarding their care.
What would you like your family and your medical team to do should you fall into a coma? Without clear directions from the patient family members struggle with the decision. Every year tens of thousands of comatose patients “live” by feeding tubes and assisted breathing machines. Is this how you’d want your life to end?
The medical bills for such extraordinary care can quickly wipe out a lifetime of savings. Would you want all your assets going to pay for this? Would you rather see your money go to a worthwhile cause?
Only by setting up a valid Living Will can you spare yourself and your family.
Five WishesÂ helps you express how you want to be treated if you are seriously ill and unable to speak for yourself. It deals with all of a person’s needs: medical, personal, emotional and spiritual. It speaks for you, when you can’t and lets caregivers, hospitals and courts know your desires.
What are your Five Wishes?
- The Person I Want to Make Care Decisions for Me When I Can’t
- The Kind of Medical Treatment I Want or Don’t Want
- How Comfortable I Want to Be
- How I Want People to Treat Me
- What I Want My Loved Ones to Know
Some seniors laugh about “we’re spending our kid’s inheritance.” Others look upon sharing their assets with their loved ones and / or worthwhile as a deeply meaningful act. Whichever camp you’re in, make your estate plan aÂ consciousÂ choice. By setting up a smart estate plan now you can have the peace of mind in knowing you wishes will be followed after you pass on.
Elder Abuse Law
The senior may beÂ eligibleÂ for financial compensation if he or she was the victim of abuse. A trusted personal injury attorney should be consulted.
Consult a qualified tax planning attorney for help with protecting your assets. A smart asset protection plan will help shelter assets from catastrophic medical expenses. YourÂ adviserÂ may suggest Long Term Care insurance. The younger you are when you purchase this insurance the more affordable it will be.