While it is always best to seek competent advice from an experienced professional, there are some simple things that you can do in preparing to care for ill loved ones. Families face an overwhelming amount of confusing information, emotional issues and decisions ranging from Nursing Home Care to protecting one’s life assets. Therefore, it is important to have systems in place so the appropriate decisions are made at the appropriate time. All families should have documents in place that allow healthy members to step up, in the event of an illness. These documents include Durable Power of Attorney, which authorize another person to handle financial affairs if they are unable to act themselves, as well as Medical Directives, which name someone to make healthcare decisions should they become incapacitated. These directives are easy to draw up and should be notarized.
In the State of California, property should be held at minimum in Joint Tenancy so, in the event of an unexpected death, the property would pass to the survivor without Probate or other complications. Bank accounts and other items should be jointly held for the same reasons. Lastly, everyone should have a Will or Trust. These documents give insight to your intentions regarding assets, without relying on the interpretation of the heirs. Know the importance of “Joint Tenancy” or “Tenants In Common” in your State.
Types Of Planning To Do Before A Health Care Crisis
There are exceptions to every rule, but here are some basics to consider:
• Consider downsizing your lifestyle. This may be a bitter pill but one that is critical to follow.
• If the family home has a lot of equity it could be viewed as a savings account. When and if necessary, a refinance or a sale might be an appropriate way to go.
• The sale of the family home may trigger capital gains issues and expert advice from a proven Financial Advisor in this arena is vital.
• Reverse Mortgages are an option as well but prove to be seldom advisable and require strict scrutiny before entering into such a contract.
• Determine what your Social Security benefits will be so you can start incorporating that income information into your planning.
• Evaluate your assets along with the Social Security benefits to determine what your monthly income will be as well as what income is necessary to sustain the family.
• Many people have no idea what their pension will be until they get their first Social Security check. Planning should start much earlier.
• Self-fund your IRAs or other retirement programs to the maximum and save as much money as possible. These are tax-free dollars that can’t be ignored. Look at matching tax or retirement programs your employer may offer. Again, early planning pays off.
• Review investment portfolios on a regular basis with your adviser. Make sure that your risk tolerance is set out clearly. Often families never look at the portfolio once the investments were made.
Parkinson’s Resource Organization urges you to visit the WELLNESS VILLAGE ParkinsonsResource.org/wellness-village/ under the categories of: Elder Law Attorneys, Estate Planning–Accounting, Legal-Attorney-Lawyers, or Nursing Home Attorneys and find an expert in your area.
If you refer into the WELLNESS VILLAGE an Attorney or Financial Advisor that has helped you prepare for Health Care Issues to stay away from Health Care Crisis issues we will thank you with a sheet of 20 Parkinson’s Resource Organization 45¢ postage stamps.