Between work and family, our busy lives often leave little time to focus on our own personal affairs, especially those related to our aging. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of stepping back to assess whether or not you’re adequately prepared.
The first step in preparation is to physically organize your affairs. This includes your Last Will and Testament as well as any trusts, advanced directives, property deeds, mortgages and notes, insurance policies, bank and investment records, income tax returns, passports, birth certificates, and military discharge records. Gather all of these documents and place them in a safe and secure place. Tell a trusted family member and/or your attorney where they are located in the event you are unable to communicate this. consider giving a copy of each of these documents to your attorney. Ensure ALL documents are up to date and reflect your present financial circumstances, wishes and current state laws. If any documents is greater than 2 years old, we recommend having them reviewed and updated, it may be necessary to have imperative language in the documents that needs to be updated or added. We also suggest creating a Durable Power of Attorney with as many powers as possible (including broad gifting powers) to avoid potentially unnecessary guardianship proceedings or issues with Medicaid planning should the need arise.
Another recommendation is to keep at least eight years of financial and bank records. Many families are unable to locate all of the bank and financial accounts their loved ones have at a time of illness or death. If you need to apply for Medicaid to cover your stay in a nursing home assisted living facility or even at-home care, you will need the last five years of all bank and investment account statements and records.
While no one anticipates having a stroke or heart attack, or developing Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s or dementia, long-term care is a reality for millions across the country. [more than 70% of all seniors age 65 or older, will need some form of long term care].
It is absolutely imperative to engage in advanced planning to protect your life savings from these potential costs.
Without the proper planning and legal documents family members will be unable to help if a loved one becomes incapacitated and/or needs to enter a nursing home. In certain circumstances the courts may need to intervene and choose a Guardian, at that point the choices and wishes of our loved ones may be in the hands of a stranger and no one wants that.
To ensure you and your family is properly protected, contact us today to discuss your Long Term Care Plan