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Aging with Dignity: Legal and Financial Considerations

As individuals age, it is important they coordinate their assets so potential emergency legal and financial situations can be handled with more ease.

Legal and financial arrangements are a crucial factor in aging planning, but they can also be one of the most challenging. This post details some considerations to make during such planning.

Be proactive:

It is important to have these conversations early, specifically while the elder is still deemed competent by the lawyer or financial advisor assisting in the planning process.

Things to consider:

While working with a legal or financial advisor, they may ask you to provide details about certain accounts or assets such as bank accounts, stocks, bonds, property, annuities, pension plans, retirement accounts, life insurance properties and sources of income.

They will likely also ask about any liabilities including home mortgages, car loans and credit cards. Those expenses should be paid off prior to a move into a senior living community.

Documents to establish:

There will be several recommended documents to formalize including a will, which determines where how the person’s assets will be allocated after they die; a health care proxy, which designates the person to make medical decisions for the senior if they are unable; and a power of attorney, which designates a specific individual to make legal decisions if the elder is unable.

This should be done early; not completing these documents on time could result in the need for probate court, which would waste time and money. Establishing a trust is one way to avoid probate court and lend asset protection for the children of the elder.

Ask questions:

Legal and financial planning is a complicated and sometimes confusing process. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and for clarification every step of the way, so you fully understand what you are agreeing will take place.

For more help, visit the Neponset River Regional Chamber website, nrrchamber.com.

Whitney Place Assisted Living and Memory Care at Sharon, a SALMON Health and Retirement community, is a member of the Neponset River Regional Chamber of Commerce and Elder Care Alliance.

SALMON Health and Retirement