If you are a caregiver for a loved one, you should know that estate planning covers more than death and taxes; for many people, it's about maintaining their “voice” and clearly outlining their wishes in the event of incapacity or disability.
Far too many people assume that their loved ones know their wishes and are prepared to honor them if a medical crisis strikes. Unfortunately, tragic accidents or other life-altering events can change things. So can the input and influence from other family members. In order for your loved one's wishes to be preserved, the best thing to do is to help them put those wishes in writing.
There are many tough questions that need to be answered when planning for the worst. But as hard as it may be for you to imagine a tragedy happening to your loved one, it would be even harder on you and other family members they had to face the difficult task of guessing what your loved one's wishes are.
So, take a deep breath and ask yourself, “What if something terrible happened to my aging family member?”
The following questions may lead you to a conversation with your loved one and prompt the opportunity to ask if their wishes have been properly documented in an estate plan:
- Who would they want to make medical decisions on their behalf?
- If they were not improving, would they want to be taken off of life support, or how long would they want to stay on life support?
- If medical procedures were available to save their life but would leave them unable to communicate or care for themselves, would I want those procedures?
- Who would they want to take care of them?
- Who will take care of their home and their other assets?
- Will their significant other or family members be able to take care of them?
- What kind of resources do they have to help with their care (i.e., good health insurance, long-term care insurance, etc.)
After you compile the answers to these questions, you must figure out a plan of attack. Let an experienced estate planning attorney help you and your loved one. At Grunden Law Office, we deal with these issues on a daily basis, and we are dedicated to helping families plan for the worst so that they can focus on the best. Contact us today at 260-969-1177 to schedule a free consultation with the mention of this article.