Making decisions about your future is never easy, but it can be especially challenging as you age. Every older adult must consider several factors, including life care planning decisions that can significantly impact their ability to maintain their independence and quality of life. If you take the time now to make these choices, you can ensure that your later years are as comfortable and fulfilling as possible.
In this blog post, we’ll outline some of the critical components of your life care plan. Are you ready to take charge of your future? Continue reading as a member of our elder law attorney team at McCarthy & Akers PLC shares vital life care planning information. Then call us at (540) 722-2181 to schedule a free consultation.
You will probably face at least a few healthcare challenges and decisions as you age. Eventually, you may be unable to dictate your wishes for your healthcare. As a result, writing down your wishes in advance and putting a trusted friend or family member in charge of any other decisions can give you peace of mind.
Healthcare Power of Attorney
First, you may want to create a healthcare power of attorney to appoint another person to make decisions about your health if you become incapacitated. For example, you may wish to designate your son, daughter, or a trusted friend or relative to this role. Even if you never end up using it, having a power of attorney can ensure it is available just in case.
Advance Healthcare Directive
You may also want to establish an advance healthcare directive while still in a healthy state of mind. This document contains your wishes for your healthcare. For example, you can use this document to specify:
- The types of medical treatment you would like to receive
- The types of medical treatment you would not want to receive (i.e., intubation, resuscitation)
- Where you would like to receive treatment (i.e., hospital, care facility)
- Organ donation decisions
The person you have appointed in your power of attorney can use this document to shape their decisions about your health.
Setting up an advance care directive is easy, but it is generally non-binding. As a result, a doctor could overrule your wishes in this document if they determine that another option would be more beneficial.
You can also consider creating a living will, which includes the same information as an advance healthcare directive but is binding. As a result, your doctors will be legally required to follow your wishes.
Your elder care attorney can help you determine the proper documentation to create to ensure that your wishes are met when you can no longer dictate them.
Financial Planning and Management
Another significant challenge that elders face is financial planning and management. For example, you will need to determine who will be in charge of your money if you ever become incapacitated and unable to manage it yourself. You will also need to plan how to afford long-term healthcare costs and who will receive your assets after you die.
Here are a few processes involved in planning your finances as you age:
Estate Planning Decisions
Estate planning is the process of planning for the management and disposal of your estate when you can no longer manage it yourself. It includes dictating who will receive specific assets after your death and who will be responsible for distributing them to your beneficiaries — a role known as the estate executor.
Creating an estate plan is time-consuming, as you must consider every aspect of your property, accounts, and assets to ensure complete control over these finances. Working with an elder law attorney can help you navigate the estate planning process effectively.
Guardianship and Conservatorship
A guardian is an individual who can make personal decisions for you when you can no longer dictate them. Meanwhile, a conservator is a person responsible for managing and administering your assets when you cannot do so yourself.
Failing to designate a guardian or conservator will permit the court to choose the person responsible for your finances. However, the court may authorize a different person from whom you would have chosen. As a result, dictating these roles now can ensure that your wishes are met for your financial management.
Ready to Plan for Your Future? For Our Elder Law Attorney Team at McCarthy & Akers, PLC, Your Needs Are Our Priority
No one wants to think about getting older, much less plan for it. But making critical life care planning decisions sooner rather than later can make a huge difference down the road. At McCarthy & Akers, PLC, we make choosing a legal partner easy. We provide the legal guidance you need and transform complicated legal matters into a simple, worry-free process.
Look no further if you're searching online for an "elder law attorney" near me. Contact our elder law attorney team from one of our offices in Strasburg, Front Royal, Winchester, and Manassas at (540) 722-2181, or fill out our online form, to schedule a consultation. We’re here to help guide you through every step in planning your future.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
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