We all lead busy lives. Between your work life, family time, personal care, and the occasional time off, it’s hard to think about the long run. But the months and years whizz by, and, well, we’re not getting any younger!
Perhaps you’re getting ready to retire, or you recently retired. It’s easy to get in a rut and say, “Oh, I’ll take care of those later-in-life or end-of-life issues when I’m closer to that stage!”
Here’s a wake-up call: you could become seriously ill or have a life-threatening accident at any time. Even healthy people can drop dead from a heart attack or stroke without notice.
Now, I’m not trying to scare you. Unfortunately, however, I’ve seen too many cases where older clients put off their late-life decisions. Then something serious happens, and it’s too late.
It’s always best to make the decisions and choices you need to make when you’re of sound mind and body!
These late-life and end-of-life decisions can seem complicated, I know.
So, here are a few steps you can take to begin planning for care now:
Create a Will. A will allows you to direct how your belongings—such as bank balances, property, or prized possessions—should be distributed. For example, if you have a business or investments, your will can specify who will receive those assets and when.
A will also allows you to direct assets to charities of your choice.
To make a will, seeking professional guidance from a specialized elder law attorney is appropriate for most folks. But for DIY’ers, other resources are available, including several DIY websites that can help you. Once you’ve drafted the document, it needs to be witnessed when signed, usually by two adults of sound mind who know you well.
Get a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA). This document lets you choose the person who will have the authority to manage your finances. And make everyday life decisions for you – when you no longer can. For example, the DPOA tasks could include helping with real estate transactions, banking, and managing your subscriptions for your cell phone, internet, and cable TV.
Select a Health Care Power of Attorney (HCPA). This is someone you trust to make health care decisions for you when you can no longer make them. Healthcare proxies can communicate with the patient’s doctors to prevent unwanted treatments and avoid making the wrong decisions – especially if you’re incapacitated.
You can select the same person to take care of the duties for the DPOA and the HCPA.
Create a Living Will. This document clarifies what kinds of treatments you want (or don’t want) if you become terminally ill and can no longer communicate your wishes. Living wills are more useful in non-emergency situations, such as when someone is in a hospital or skilled nursing facility.
To complicate matters, there is also a Physician Orders For Life-Sustaining Treatment or POLST. This is a signed order by your doctor for emergencies like cardiac arrest. Unlike Living Wills, emergency room doctors and EMTs must do what the POLST specifies. These professionals must follow standard emergency protocols unless doctor’s orders say otherwise. A POLST is often recommended for terminally ill or very frail seniors.
Many seniors choose to have both documents to ensure their end-of-life wishes are protected in all situations.
Does all of this late-in-life planning sound complicated? Well, for a lot of folks, it is! For some, it can even seem overwhelming.
That’s why you may need Brynne Malone and Aging Solutions on your side. So how can they help you?
- For starters, Aging Solutions helps people “think through” and get to the bottom of their true goals for their aging. And consider how they want to be honored in the aging journey.
- Nobody has more knowledge about the complicated modern details of aging than Brynne and his team. They are experts in settling estates, health care management, and financial management. They understand what erodes finances in aging, what conflicts arise among families, and know all about the burdens often unintentionally placed on loved ones during the aging process.
- They will help you prepare ahead of time and create a written roadmap to extract the most out of aging. So you can age with less stress and more ease and style! They know precisely where DPOAs, wills, and trusts fall into place.
- Aging Solutions provides ongoing support and crisis support to answer questions and guide families. So that seniors can focus on their family and not the distraction of important but menial details in coping with aging.
Want to find out more about planning for your care? Get in touch with Aging Solutions today – and receive a Free Introductory Consultation!