Senior Estate Planning - Long Term Care

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posted by Ted Ryan on January 29, 2013

When planning one’s estate and legal affairs, it’s important to start early to avoid conflict or complications in the event of an emergency or sudden decline in the condition of an elderly loved one.

By starting the process before your loved one shows noticeable cognitive decline, they may be involved in the decision making process – expressing wishes for future care and designating a decision maker on his or her behalf.

Planning should include:

1. Making plans for health care and long term care
2. Making plans for finances and property
3. Naming another person to make decisions on the seniors behalf

In order to do these things, the senior must have legal capacity – the ability to make rational decisions and understand the consequences of their actions. Once someone is declared incapacitated, they may not be able to give their decision making power to anyone else. This means that by avoiding advance care planning, you risk being unable to access information or act on a loved one’s behalf, if they are unable to do so.

To ensure that the proper necessities are covered and legally binding, it is best to consult an elder law attorney. If you have a lawyer, they may be able to refer you to an attorney that specializes in elder law. Your area agency on aging may also help pinpoint programs and resources available to assist you and your loved one. For information about agencies on aging in our area, follow these links – Missouri Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Missouri Aging Information Network, St. Louis Area Agency on Aging.

Handling one’s estate and legal affairs can be daunting – especially in regards to end of life care. If getting started with this process seems overwhelming or you would like a bit of advice, support or reference recommendations, we encourage you to contact us at Seniors Home Care. Don’t hesitate to give us a call, at 314-962-2666, or drop us a note, by clicking here.

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