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Why Estate Planning Is Necessary for Caregivers
Published February 14, 2020
A recent study found that nearly 60 percent of Americans do not have a will, despite almost all the people surveyed agreeing that it is very important. The thought of not having an estate plan in place should make anyone nervous, but for those who provide unpaid care for an aging loved one or a child with special needs, it is downright frightening.
Caregiving presents many challenges. One of the hardest is thinking far into the future and planning for every potential need of your loved one, who will need care and financial support even if you are unable to provide it yourself. Securing the who, what, where, when and how of lifetime care weighs heavy on a caregiver’s mind.
Estate planning is essential for anyone who is responsible for the care of a loved one; it eases the stress involved with preparation for the future. For those caring for an aging parent or family member, it is important to be sure they have their estate planning done too. Open conversations about what they want for their assets and healthcare before a crisis strikes will facilitate effective planning.
The possibility of long-term care should be addressed too. If the caregiver ever became unable to continue in their role, who would take over? If the needs of the person being cared for became too great for the caregiver, what would be done? How would the costs of this care be paid? These are the difficult questions that estate planning can answer.
The first step to doing this is to meet with an estate planning attorney who can help create a plan and prepare the documents. A will, trusts, advance directives and powers of attorney are all useful estate tools and will provide for the various aspects of guardianship, care and the transfer of assets. An attorney can help cover every possibility to protect both the caregiver and the person who needs care.
Estate planning is just another aspect of care and one that can prevent many headaches down the road. For caregivers especially, it is one they cannot afford to skip.
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