Taking care of aging parents? Care for yourself, too

Many adult children find themselves in the crucial position of helping their parents create and execute a plan for growing older. Even with modern advancements, the process of aging is still a complex and expensive one.

If you are one of the thousands of adult children throughout the country who have had the privilege of assisting your parent in this way, you know just how vital it is for you to get your own affairs in order, too. It is fair to say that one of the best ways that you can help those around you, whether it is your aging parents or children of your own, is to make sure that you have an estate plan that takes your own aging into account.

Wherever you are in the process of planning, either for yourself or for an aging parent, there are now many options to consider that can help make everyone's life easier.

Establish needs and expectations

Without a firm grasp on what you or your parent needs, it is very difficult to create an effective plan to get there. If you've already walked through this process with a parent, then you know that there are numerous areas that often get left out when creating an estate plan. Do not hesitate to consult an experienced estate planning attorney if you are unsure how to proceed.

Aging can mean many things, but in general, it means determining how you will care for yourself and how you will provide for the ones you love.

Consider some of the many issues that you might encounter:

  • Do you want to remain in your home as long as is possible?
  • Are you eligible for Medicaid and Medicare benefits?
  • What standard of living do you want to maintain in your elder years?
  • How do you want to protect your estate to preserve something for your heirs?
  • Who do you want to be responsible for making decisions on your behalf?

These are only broad questions that require delving deeper to discern proper solutions.

What can trusts do for you?

If you have spent any time at all dealing with estate planning, then you have run into the concept of trusts. Trusts are useful in many ways, depending upon your needs and the type of trust you employ.

Some trusts specifically provide for elder care or for disabled persons. An excellent way to ensure that you can maintain a sizable estate without jeopardizing your eligibility for government assistance benefits is to establish a trust for your assets.

A trust may also be the best choice for managing assets so that they don't get depleted during the probate process after your death.

Other trusts can allow you to designate a charity to receive a portion of some asset, while still granting you or a beneficiary other proceeds from that asset.

The sooner that you determine your specific needs, the sooner you can create a strong plan for your future or the future of an aging parent, and care for the ones you love.

Build a strong team for a strong future

Creating a viable plan for the future often means navigating complex legal areas to maximize benefits without violating certain restrictions. Do not hesitate to seek out the guidance of an experienced estate planning attorney to assist you with this important task.

With proper legal guidance, you can rest assured that your plan is well-crafted for your specific needs, and that your rights and the rights of the ones you love will remain protected.

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