Though arranging estate plans can be stressful, getting organized ahead of time can alleviate at least some of that stress. If your senior loved one needs help with estate planning, here are some tips and strategies to assist him or her and make the process easier for everyone involved.
Make an Estate Planning Checklist
Estate planning shouldn’t be overwhelming. Creating a checklist for your loved one that breaks estate planning down into a series of manageable items can help everything seem less daunting. A good checklist will include:
- A living will or advance healthcare directive
- A durable power of attorney
- A final will and testament
- A review of beneficiary forms
Planning for your loved one’s future should also include considerations about his or her ability to continue aging in place. Living alone at home in the golden years can present a few unique challenges. Trust in-home care professionals to help your senior loved one maintain a higher quality of life while he or she lives with an illness and performs the daily tasks of living.
Gather Financial Information
You’ll need information regarding your loved one’s current finances, debts, assets, pension funds, retirement accounts, and more. The more complex his or her financial life, the more paperwork and research you may need to collect and manage. This is often the most difficult part of the planning process.
Read Books on Estate Planning
If your loved one is able to help with the process, he or she may benefit from reading books on estate planning directed toward the financial nonprofessional or layperson. These include resources from the For Dummies book series and other simplified texts. If your loved one is good with computers, resources are also readily available online.
Your loved one may already know what he or she wants to happen to the estate. If so, you should do your best to ensure these wishes become reality by helping him or her turn them into a cohesive and properly formulated plan. This may require many conversations and several plan drafts, but the results will likely be worth the effort.
It’s also essential to find out your loved one’s preferences for continuing to live at home or moving to an assisted living facility as he or she gets older. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to assisted living facilities. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading Denver senior home care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.
Consider Hiring a Financial Adviser
For seniors with complex finances or abundant assets, it may be worthwhile to consult a professional financial adviser or planner. This person will be well versed in state and local tax laws and can translate these complexities into something that makes sense to you and your loved one.
Update the Plan as Needed
Once you’ve created an estate plan and have it signed and notarized, you may not be entirely finished. Your loved one may wish to periodically review the plan or make alterations. This should be an expected component of estate planning, regardless of how little or how much he or she has in the estate.
Schedule Reminders to Review Documents
Some seniors already have their wills, advance directives, and other important documents in place. If this is the case with your loved one, it’s still important to have these documents reviewed and revised every few years. Anytime there’s a significant change in assets or inheritance preferences, estate documents may need to be altered to reflect these changes.
Many seniors begin their estate planning after being diagnosed with serious illnesses or experiencing major injuries. Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Denver, CO, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver. If you need professional home care for your loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (720) 443-3371.