For many, talking about death is taboo. No one wants to think about dying or becoming disabled, but it’s something we will all have to consider. No matter how old you are, it is crucial you speak to your family about estate planning and end-of-life matters.
Topics to Discuss With Your Family:
Who Do You Want To Inherit Your Assets?
Whether considering you or your parents you need to determine how to make sure your assets are distributed to those you care about after you die. Have difficult conversations now to avoid conflict later. Speak to an elder law attorney about writing a will or trust with your family so everyone is on the same page and your wishes are carried out.
Do You Plan On Applying For Medicaid?
About two-thirds of people over 65 will need long-term care at some point; 20% of them will need it for longer than 5 years. Because Medicare and private insurance provide no coverage for long-term care, many seniors will depend on Medicaid to cover these costs, which can total $100,000 annually (or more, depending on where you live). Unfortunately, qualifying for Medicaid requires you to meet harsh financial eligibility rules. It is possible to make gifts to family members, but it must be done within a specific time frame in order to maintain Medicaid eligibility. The sooner you have this conversation the more of your assets you will be able to protect.
Who Would You Want Making Decisions For You If You Become Incapacitated?
An injury or illness could occur at any time. If it leaves you unable to make decisions you can appoint someone to fulfill this role. Your power of attorney will allow someone to make medical or financial decisions for you. You want your agent under power of attorney to be someone you trust. Having a conversation about this possibility while you are still cognitively sound will make things easier in the future.
Would You Want To Be Kept On Life Support?
Many people are not interested in being kept on life support in the end stages of life if there is no hope of regaining a reasonable quality of life. Deciding what type of medical intervention is appropriate or when to end life-extending treatments is stressful. It is important you let your family know your wishes on this matter and speak to an attorney about preparing a living will as soon as possible. With your living will in place, your family will know exactly what to do if you are being kept alive on life support.
Finding An Elder Law Attorney In Pennsylvania
As an elder law attorney serving Delaware County, PA and neighboring counties for nearly 30 years, Robert Slutsky can help facilitate these important conversations with your family. Get in touch with him today to begin the conversation about wills, Medicaid and asset protection planning, powers of attorney, guardianship, living wills, and more.