Family caregivers often devote a great deal of their lives to caring for an elderly loved one, whether that be a parent, grandparent, or other relative. In the day to day of providing hands-on care, however, have you thought about how it can be easy to lose sight of things like estate planning? Estate planning, despite the fact that it can be extremely important, can be often overlooked due to immediately pressing issues. Family caregivers can help their loved ones by initiating conversations about estate planning, speaking to different professionals who can help with the process, and bringing other family members into the fold.
Even if it feels as if every day is filled with cooking, cleaning, and other caregiving tasks, it can take as little as ten minutes to start a conversation about estate planning with your loved one. Coming from the perspective of wanting to ensure that his or her children or grandchildren do not have to go through a lengthy process with his or her estate if your loved one dies without a will, or of ensuring that your loved one’s final wishes are ultimately carried out, may make your loved one more receptive, as these are two of the most common spurs to senior estate planning.
It can be important to work with an experienced estate planning attorney when writing your will, creating powers of attorney, and engaging in any other aspects of estate planning. An attorney licensed in your state and knowledgeable about practice in this area will help ensure that your loved one’s estate planning documents are valid and make sense for his or her particular situation. Finding the names of a few different attorneys and speaking to each of them before making your final decision may help your loved one to find the best fit.
Often, family caregivers take on a much greater burden than siblings or other relatives who live far away or otherwise are unable to provide as much assistance in the day to day care of an elderly relative. When it comes to estate planning, your loved one may want to acknowledge your special contribution in his or her older years. This should be explained to other relatives in the present, while your loved one is still able to convey his or her own thoughts, as well as clearly detailed in his or her will or other estate planning documents.
For help establishing a strong estate plan for yourself and your loved ones, our office is here to help. Contact us today to set up an appointment.