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A Family’s Guide to Estate Planning for Seniors

By Debbie Waddell, 8:00 am on

While we understand that talking about end-of-life legal matters can beunappealing, it is a very important task to ensure that senior adults and their families are well taken care of. To make sure that an aging adult’s wishes are carried out regarding medical treatments, financial obligations and distribution of personal and real property, it is important to plan ahead. Estate planning documents include the Last Will and Testament, Trust, Living Will and Power of Attorney. Because all of this can get confusing, the expert staff atHome Care Assistance in Placer County have put together this brief guide on what needs to be done when you begin the estate planning process.
Last Will and Testament

In the Last Will and Testament, your aging parent will identify a person of their choice to manage their estate after they have passed. This person is responsible for distribution and liquidation of the estate after all funeral and medical expenses have been paid. In your aging parent’s Will, they identify personal and real property and designate to whom they wish to receive this property, in whole or part.

Trust

If elderly adults have children who are not yet 18 or are disabled and unable to care for themselves, they may consider having a Trust prepared. In a Trust, your aging parent selects a person who will be responsible for holding and disbursing the assets for the childrenuntil they reach a certain age.

Living Will

The Living Will, also known in some states as an Advance Medical Directive, includes your aging loved one’s wishes regarding medical treatment in case they are ever incapacitated and/or unable to communicate their wishes to medical professionals. A person of their choosing will be appointed to make these decisions on their behalf, which include orders concerning resuscitation and donations of organs.

Power of Attorney

In the Power of Attorney, aging adults appoint a person of their choosing to have full authority to manage all financial affairs if they’re unable to do so. These duties include paying bills, making deposits and withdrawals from bank accounts, leasing or selling any property, and any other financial decisions that are requested.

We know that this can be a lot to handle, but it is nevertheless something that needs to get done. As your parent grows older, it’s also important to talk about their options when it comes to receiving hourly or live-in senior care in Placer County. Do they have long-term care insurance? Are they prepared to finance home care? Is their desire to age in place within the comfort of home? If you are interested in discussing these items with an aging loved one and with one of our knowledgeable Care Managers, call 916.226.3737 to schedule a free in-home consultation.

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