Many Georgia elders spend a lot of time thinking about their own mortality. Most want to make sure their health care needs and final wishes are fulfilled if they become incapacitated and unable to speak for themselves. It’s not uncommon for a parent of adult children to make such wishes known through private conversations with a son or daughter. The estate planning process can be used to ensure that an elder’s instructions are carried out.  

The problem with verbal instruction without written support is that there is no guarantee the person to whom the information was entrusted will remember the conversation correctly when the time comes, or that a parent’s specific instructions will be followed. Problems can also arise if an elder has discussed his or her preferences with more than one adult child, and those involved interpret the instructions differently or disagree about some aspect of medical care or financial action. To prevent family discord, it’s best to have everything included in a written estate plan.  

Naming a neutral third party as a trustee to carry out the terms of a long-term plan may be a better choice for those who worry that their adult children will fight over urgent medical care issues or disbursement of funds regarding long-term care payments. Any type of plan is better than no plan at all when it comes to long-term care and advance directive instructions. A person must be of sound mind when signing legal documents, so the sooner the better regarding elder care since any number of issues may result in unexpected incapacitation.  

The estate planning process is customizable, which makes it a great asset for those with specific needs or goals concerning late-life medical care or finances. Discussing such issues with an experienced Georgia long-term care attorney is a logical first step. From there, all options can be explored to design and execute an individual plan that addresses one’s unique needs and preferences.    

Source: helpmehelpmomma.com, “Create a Care Journey Plan“, Doug Jones, May 2, 2018