These unprecedented times cause you of the sandwich generation, struggling to care for multiple generations, to have more responsibilities piled on your shoulders coming from more directions than ever before. Due to government restrictions and guidelines regarding COVID-19 you may feel insecure about your job. You worry about your school-age children who are now faced with needing to learn at home for an undetermined length of time. You now need to provide for their care and their schooling, very likely from home, where you might also be trying to work. You also worry about aging parents who are particularly vulnerable physically to not only coronavirus, but a host of other ailments and potential dangers. You may also be worried about your parents’ financial stability and retirement.
In these times it is important to make sure that your loved ones are taken care of. The stress of caring for both children and parents can be considerably alleviated with proper planning. When it comes to aging parents, there are many things to consider in planning for their present and future. Here are 4 things to consider:
- Have necessary documents completed and on hand. These should include estate planning documents, such as a trust, will and powers of attorney. With valid powers of attorney, the trusted person named will be legally permitted to take care of important matters for the incapacitated such as paying bills, managing investments, or directing medical care. It also helps to have access to your loved one’s medical, insurance, and financial information, so that you know where to begin. If no planning exists when your loved is incapacitated, you may need to resort to a guardianship/conservatorship for court authority to take care of your loved one’s needs.
- Have a plan for long term care. Medical insurance is just one piece of the physical/medical care puzzle. Who can assist your loved one with their daily activities and keep them safe? How will your loved one afford that assistance? A plan for long term care can provide a clear path to peace of mind in the event of illness or incapacitation.
- Have a financial/asset protection plan. How does your loved one afford long term care assistance? How will they provide for a spouse? Can they preserve any of their hard-earned savings? Are there things that may jeopardize their eligibility for long term care programs? You should explore planning/asset protection options for programs such as Veterans’ Aid & Attendance pension and ALTCS (AZ Medicaid). Health benefits, retirement funds, and other assets should be protected and used wisely.
As an experienced Elder Law attorney with Davis Miles McGuire Gardner, I can help you create a legal strategy that properly plans to protect your aging parents. If you are interested in learning more about planning for the care of loved ones, please give me a call to schedule an appointment.