If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that our lives can change in an instant – and in so many unforeseen ways.
With the end of 2020 upon us, you may be tempted to try and put everything about it in the rearview mirror. However, there is much that we can learn from all 2020 brought us. This year has taught us how to see more clearly the things that are most important in our lives. So, while you don’t need to be pessimistic about the future, we do recommend that you think about how to protect what matters most – yourself and your loved ones in the months and years to come.
Planning for your own and your family’s financial and medical future can be confusing and emotional. It is something that is easy to keep putting off, but it is absolutely the wise thing to do. Even though this holiday season may look different than years past, it is still an ideal time to discuss estate planning and elder care needs as a family.
For instance, have you thought about what will happen if one of both of your parents were to pass away or become critically ill over the next year? Or what if the same were to happen to you? How would those outcomes affect the lives of everyone around you? Would your family be prepared?
Do you have a will or powers of attorney set up? Do your parents or other family members have their future plans determined? Or what would happen if you, your spouse or a relative suddenly required significant medical care for a condition such as Alzheimer’s that requires constant and costly attention but leaves the sufferer unable to make independent decisions?
These are difficult and soul-searching subjects but having these conversations in advance of an emergency allows you to make a plan so that you have peace of mind in knowing that everything is in place to protect yourself and the ones you love most for years to come. And that is a great gift!
At Elder Law of Georgia, we know these conversations are hard, and we are here to help. Having a third party bring up the issues and potential solutions can help facilitate productive discussion. And when you are ready, we can assist with making your decisions legally-binding because conversations are great and absolutely help with knowing everyone’s wishes, but it is necessary to complete all the legal paperwork to ensure everyone’s wishes are met.
Once you have these discussions and are ready to take control of your future, the next step is to determine the right legal counsel to support and advise your family.
An attorney versed in probate law, estate planning and elder law can help you:
- Create a will that protects your most valued assets and spells out funeral wishes, as well as whom you want to receive certain assets, such as a home, car or family heirlooms.
- Create a power of attorney directive that legally designates someone to make financial decisions on your behalf if you are no longer able to do so yourself.
- Create a health care directive – a document that communicates your wishes about end-of-life care if you are unable to communicate this on your own.
- Create a trust, which allows you to control who receives assets and under what conditions. Additionally, they can establish a trust that gives you access to your wealth while you are still alive.
- Create a special needs trust, which ensures that you will be able to use your assets to provide for a disabled spouse, child or another loved one after your death.
- Create a plan to cover expensive long-term healthcare costs while preserving your family assets beyond your lifetime.
The good news is that all of this can be accomplished relatively simply with the right legal aid. And no matter what you decide, these documents can always be legally changed should you need to re-consider your choices in the future.
These are not waters that you want to navigate alone, as any mistake made in understanding and executing these intricate proceedings can cause aggravating delays. So, when you and your family are ready, please get in touch with a certified attorney to ensure that you get the treatment you deserve.
There is no better time to start planning for your future than right now. To get started, we invite you to give us a call at 678-971-4971.