An increasing number of American adults are a part of the “sandwich generation,” caring for their parents at the same time they’re raising their own children. While the amount of time devoted to caring for children diminishes as they mature, the opposite is true for their parents as they age.
Solving the immediate needs of our parents’ financial, medical and housing problems sometimes postpones important discussions about their future. Do you know if your parents have made plans to protect their assets and to ensure that their wishes are carried out in the final chapters of their life? If they have, it’s important that you and other family members are aware of those plans.
If your parents have not made those plans, you should consider contacting an elder care attorney, who can walk you and your parents through the key issues that should be resolved before your parents’ health worsens.
Here are a few ways that an elder attorney can help:
- Provide sound and unbiased advice. Family members can be divided on the kind of long-term care they want for their parents, even as their parents want to remain in their own homes. An attorney can provide unbiased advice based on their experience with families who have been in similar situations.
- Develop a plan for long-term care. With diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s affecting many seniors, it’s best to craft long-term healthcare and nursing home plans now, before your loved ones are unable to discuss their preferences.
- Draft a durable power of attorney. This document identifies the person who will act as your parents’ representative on financial and/or medical matters when they are unable to speak or think for themselves.
- Protect your parents’ assets. Seniors are occasionally the victims of financial predators. An attorney can often spot fraud and criminal activity early on and is especially sensitive to any proposed changes to deeds and wills, missing checks, or unusual withdrawals from bank accounts.
- Assess the impact of estate taxes. Would setting up a living trust help avert taxes and costly probate costs? Your attorney’s counsel can save your family thousands of dollars.
- Medicare/Medicaid issues. For lower-income adults, nursing home costs can be exorbitant. An attorney can help you explore whether your loved one is eligible for Medicaid benefits.
State laws differ when it comes to the specifics of elder law. There are many advantages to hiring an experienced local lawyer, as an elder law attorney in Roseville, CA, from a firm like The Yee Law Group, PC, can explain.