Estate Planning Guidelines for Aging Adults

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A Family's Guide to Estate Planning for Seniors in Palm Desert, CA

While talking about end-of-life legal matters can be unappealing, it’s a very important task to complete to ensure seniors and their families are well taken care of. To make sure an aging adult’s wishes are carried out regarding medical treatments, financial obligations, and distribution of personal and real property, it’s important to plan ahead. By following a few simple steps, older adults can protect their wishes and assets and avoid placing undue strain on loved ones. Because all of this can get confusing, here is a brief guide on what needs to be done when seniors begin the estate planning process.

Last Will & Testament

Having wills drawn up is a simple way for seniors to dictate how they want their money and assets divided after they pass. All seniors should have wills to simplify the process of splitting up their estates after death. It’s one of the easiest ways to legally protect spouses, children, and extended family members.

In the last will and testament, your aging parent will identify a person of his or her choice to manage the estate after he or she has passed. This person is responsible for distribution and liquidation of the estate after all funeral and medical expenses have been paid. In your parent’s will, he or she identifies personal and real property and designates who he or she wishes to receive this property, in whole or in part.

Many seniors begin their estate planning after being diagnosed with serious illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s or another form of age-related dementia. Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. Palm Desert families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life.

Trust

If seniors have children who aren’t yet 18 or who are disabled and unable to care for themselves, they may consider having trusts prepared. With a trust, your parent selects a person who will be responsible for holding and disbursing the assets for the children until they reach a certain age.

Living Will

A living will, also known in some states as an advance medical directive, spells out your loved one’s wishes regarding medical treatment in case he or she is ever incapacitated and/or unable to communicate his or her wishes to medical professionals. A person of your loved one’s choosing will be appointed to make these decisions on his or her behalf, which can include medical treatments to keep your loved one alive, organ donations, and pain management. Planning ahead makes sure seniors’ requests are followed. This gives older adults peace of mind knowing their plans will be carried out according to their wishes.

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 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. 

Financial Power of Attorney

With financial powers of attorney, aging adults appoint people of their choosing to have full authority to manage all their financial affairs if they’re unable to do so. These duties include paying bills, making deposits to and withdrawals from bank accounts, leasing or selling any property, and any other financial decisions that are required.It’s also essential to determine 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 Palm Desert in-home care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks. For compassionate, reliable in-home care, trust the experienced professionals from Home Care Assistance. Reach out to one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (760) 345-0001 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.

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