ARTICLE: 3 Important Steps to Protect Yourself and Others When Healthcare Issues Arise

3 Important Steps to Protect Yourself and Others When Healthcare Issues Arise

Family care of elderly parents is not an easy topic. When does the adult child’s duty shift to include caregiver roles? When do adult children feel compelled to “take a step in” and assume active roles in managing their parents’ affairs? With the right planning, it can be done successfully and without stress. In this article, we’ll go over how to avoid disagreements between siblings and how to plan ahead so there are no surprises when you may need help providing for your care or caring for your parent.

The aging of the population is a global trend that has been happening for the last fifty years. The United States Census Bureau predicts that by 2050, 20% of Americans will be over 65 years old, and in 2013 there were 36 million people who were aged 75 or older. This means that more and more children are going to have to care for their parents as they age which can lead to conflicts between family members when it comes time to make decisions about elder care.

Writing Down Wishes

Many people don’t realize the importance of writing down their wishes for caregiving in case they are no longer able to express themselves. Without written instructions and proper legal documents, even siblings who love you and love each other find it difficult to provide proper care. In many cases, family members don’t always agree on who should care for an aging parent or what type of care is appropriate. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s how you can avoid sibling disputes and make peace of mind a reality by putting your wishes in writing with Roth Elder Law.

  1. Create a healthcare power of attorney, and general power of attorney to nominate a trusted loved one to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make your own decisions. A properly drafted healthcare power of attorney will provide a list of successor persons in case your primary person is unable to act as power of attorney. Once the healthcare power of attorney is executed, make sure each child knows exactly who you have nominated so that there are no disputes when the power of attorney needs to act.
  2. Write down what living arrangements will work best if different choices need consideration–such as whether there needs be live-in help available around the clock day & night.
  3. If possible, make sure to clearly state in writing about the type of medical treatment and/or procedures that you would like or do not want near the end of life. This document is often referred to as a “Living Will” and can provide tremendous peace of mind for your children.

Bringing up the topic of caregiving with your parents or children can be uncomfortable. It’s important to know that you don’t have to go through this alone if you’ve expressed wishes for what should happen in case you are no longer able to speak on your own behalf. Roth Elder Law has helped families get their affairs in order so they can feel confident and secure about their future, knowing that your care is done according to your wishes! Call us today at (607) 962-6162 if you have any questions or concerns that your estate plan might not include these important instructions.

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We at Roth Elder Law, PLLC, believe in providing services in a way that clients can easily understand and meaningfully participate in designing and maintaining their estate plan for their loved ones, as well as be assured that their plan will be administered according to their wishes.