What Adult Children and Aging Parents Must Know

You cannot know all the future holds, but it is possible to prepare for the legal challenges that you, your parents and your loved ones may face as all grow older. Seniors and their children must prepare now to meet these challenges successfully.

These challenges include, but are not limited to, needs for powers of attorney, guardianships, abuse and neglect matters, healthcare, billing problems, scams, government and pension benefits, long-term care insurance and estate planning. These issues are often intertwined, can be extremely complex and become even more difficult to manage if a major cognitive health issue such as dementia or Alzheimer’s is involved.

For example, many think a power of attorney can be given at any time. This is not accurate. Only a person of sound mind can give a power of attorney. Dementia or Alzheimer’s can make this impossible. A power not given or not properly given can cause family members to undertake a costly and emotional court process to appoint a guardian to handle the affairs of their relative.

Seniors and their children who do not prepare in advance for the legal challenges of aging are extremely vulnerable. Do not become one of those heartbreaking stories. Here are common examples of the consequences of failing to prepare.

A mother could no longer remember her own name. She had no designated guardian or power of attorney. Her finances and health quickly deteriorated. Had she given her daughter a power of attorney, her daughter could have acted quickly to protect her finances and get her the healthcare she needed.

An elderly father lived alone. He could take care of his physical needs, but he became confused easily. An unscrupulous “financial planner” visited him in his home and convinced him to agree to a “financial plan” that cost him his life savings. With no one empowered to help him with his affairs or act on his behalf, the father lost his savings, the children lost their inheritance and had to support their penniless father for the balance of his life. This could have been prevented if he had given someone he trusted his power of attorney to handle his affairs or if the children had sought the appointment by the court of a guardian of his financial affairs.

On the other hand, good planning can help avoid uncertainty and make difficult decisions easier.

An elderly wife suffered a massive stroke and went into an irreversible coma. The husband and wife had executed advanced medical directives (also known as living wills) that set out how they wanted to be treated if they were severely and permanently comatose. Her living will saved the family from the anguish of not knowing what her wishes were for treatment and, worse yet, from the possibility of an extended court fight between family members over the issue.

Many difficult situations can be avoided if the senior and their children work together to craft a plan for long-term security. A well-drafted estate plan, an advanced medical directive and a power of attorney given to someone trusted is the first step, but your LegalShield provider law firm can also help you navigate health insurance, government benefit concerns, guardianships and so much more. Avoid the disastrous consequences that can occur to seniors and their children without proper planning.

Whether you are a senior or a child of a senior, do not be among the many who suffer because of their failure to plan. Please call ADG Referral Services at 925-262-4200 to learn more on how to get in contact with a LegalShield provider law firm today and take the first step to secure the future.

By Legal Shield

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