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AL Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Do You Know What To Look For When Visiting Relatives During The Holidays?

Are you planning to visit your parents during the holidays?  Are you hoping to discuss long-term care planning with them?  What exactly is long-term care planning?  The National Institute on Aging defines long-term care planning as steps to meet a person’s health or personal care needs during a long or short period of time. With the help of these services, people may be able to live as independently and safely as possible even though they can no longer perform everyday activities on their own.

Estate planning, including long-term care planning, is definitely impacted by both the personal wishes and financial means of a person.  The following are some helpful questions to ask your parents this holiday season to determine what type of long-term care planning may be best for them.

1. Do your parents want to live in assisted living or do they want to remain in their home? Assisted living can offer a wide range of amenities that may make it an attractive option to some. Other times, people want to stay in their own home at all costs.

2. Do your parents want to stay in their home at all costs?  What needs to be done to help them remain in their home as long as possible and remain safe? This may involve discussing modifications to the home to make it safer and easier to move around. It may also involve a discussion as to part-time in-home care help or possibly having a family caregiver move in with them or make daily visits.

3. Do your parents still safely operate their car? The holidays can be a good time to check in and see how your parents have been doing in their day to day lives. As delicately as possible, ask them about driving. Have they been feeling anxious about driving? Have there been any car accidents, even minor ones? These can be signs that it may be time for your parents to stop driving and discuss alternate means of transportation.

4. Do your parents have any plans for how to pay for a nursing home if the need should arrive? Medicare may cover a short stay in a nursing home, but beyond that, your parents will need to cover the cost. Do they have the money or long-term care insurance? Medicaid planning may be done to preserve the assets of your parents and make them eligible for Medicaid to cover the cost.

5. Do your parents have someone who will handle their financial matters? As people age, they are more prone to a medical event, such as a stroke, which can leave them mentally incapacitated without warning. A durable power of attorney can be an important legal instrument to have executed and will give the designated person access to bank accounts and allow them to make financial decisions. Ask your parents about what plans they have in place for the management of their affairs in the future.

6. Do your parents need assistance locating a qualified elder law attorney? Once you have had the conversation with your parents regarding long-term care planning, they should locate a qualified elder law attorney to help with long-term care planning.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. You are welcome to contact our law practice now, or at any time throughout the year, and schedule a meeting to make sure you have the Alabama legal planning you need to accomplish your goals.

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