According to data from Pew Research, more than half of Americans in their 40s are currently caring for an aging parent while also caring for their own children. This group is often referred to as the “Sandwich Generation,” because they are quite literally sandwiched between their parents and their children. If you are currently in your 40s-60s, you are the most likely to be a part of the Sandwich Generation, and if you are, there are some special elder law and estate planning concerns you will need to address if you want you and your loved ones to be financially secure in the long term.
Here are a few thoughts about elder law and estate planning for the Sandwich Generation from attorney Robert Slutsky and the team at Slutsky Elder Law:
Elder Law: Special Considerations for the Sandwich Generation
If you are caring for both an aging parent and your own children, you will want to speak with an elder law attorney about certain legal documents necessary for the future.
Vital Legal Documents include:
- Powers of Attorney – If your parent were to become incapacitated due to injury or illness, you may be put in the difficult position of not knowing who is authorized to make medical and financial decisions on their behalf. Talk to them about designating you as agent under a power of attorney; you may also want to make these declarations for yourself so your spouse or adult children will know what to do if you become incapacitated.
- Medicaid Asset Protection – The costs associated with long-term care are higher than they have ever been. Private health insurance and Medicare usually provide no long term care coverage. Medicaid offers full coverage for long term (custodial) care, but there are stringent asset requirements that need to be met in order to qualify. An elder law attorney can help you develop a strategy to allow your parent to qualify for Medicaid while retaining as much of their assets as possible.
- Last Will and Testament – If your parents do not have a will, it is important they write one as soon as possible. If you are supporting a family of your own, you also need to think about writing a will. These documents will make life easier for you if your parent should pass away, and will greatly benefit your family if the worst should happen to you.
- Living Will – Injuries and illnesses can crop up at any time, which is why you should talk to your parent now about their wishes regarding end of life care. Making decisions like these can be extremely difficult for families, so helping your parent make their wishes known now will make it easier in the future for them and you. As a parent, you may also want to talk to your own family about your wishes, so they won’t have to decide for you when you are at the end of your life.
Estate Planning and Elder Law in Pennsylvania
The topics mentioned above are just a few aspects of elder law and estate planning; if you have questions, you should speak to an elder law attorney right away. Robert Slutsky has decades of experience as an estate planning attorney in Delaware County, PA and neighboring counties, so he is the best choice to advise you in this process. The Sandwich Generation is in the unique position of having to make legal considerations for their parents and for themselves. If you are a member of this generation, consulting with an attorney as soon as possible is a smart move. Call (610)940-0650 or fill out the form on our contact page to request a consultation with Elder Law Attorney Robert Slutsky today.