Estate Planning In Your Senior Years
As you get older you may start to face questions about retirement, health care benefits and drawing from federal programs like Medicaid. Financing your senior years and your elder care needs can be challenging for your loved ones if you do not plan and organize your assets properly.
My goal at the Law Offices of Russell E. Baldwin Chartered is to help you make strategic estate planning and elder law decisions for yourself or for your loved ones (if you are an adult child whose parents need elder care help). For more than 36 years, I have guided generations of families through these personal decisions.
I can help you get the information you need to plan for the unexpected. Contact my office in Naperville and in downtown St. Charles to arrange a consultation with an experienced Illinois attorney.
Key Factors To Consider When Planning For A Parent’s Care
Conversations about elder care can be touchy. An adult child in his or her 30s, 40s or 50s may recognize a parent’s vulnerabilities before the parent does. It is up to everyone in your family to take steps that protect elders and provide the dignified care they deserve.
Elder care can be broken up into the following points of discussion:
- Independence and personal/medical care needs: Many aging adults want to retain as much independence as possible as they get older. To best facilitate this independence, it is wise to evaluate possible health care needs, which family members will be available to support that care, and what can be done to extend health and independence as long as possible. Even if your parents are healthy and independent now, understanding your family’s medical history (i.e., a history of dementia, alzheimer’s disease, stroke, etc.) can help you solidify plans for the “what-ifs” later on.
- Financial management: As an individual gets older, his or her estate may start to realize its full value. Significant or complex wealth and assets can sometimes work against you when planning for long-term health care and financial needs. For example, a certain income level (even if it is not enough to cover your financial needs) may leave you ineligible for crucial benefits programs like Social Security or Medicaid. I can work with you to preserve your assets while retaining your eligibility for long-term funding options.
- Housing management: As you get older (or as your parents get older and start to need elder care services), you may be faced with a difficult decision about where you live. It may not be safe for an older individual with growing health concerns (like symptoms of dementia) to live at home anymore. It is important that you plan for potential housing needs like moving to be closer to adult children, exploring assisted living options or in-home care, or defining a point where adult children can help you move into a nursing home or elder care facility if necessary.
A Lawyer Here To Support You
I know these are difficult things to talk about, but the more you understand about your options, the better you will feel. I can help guide you through this legal process and facilitate productive discussions so everyone is comfortable with elder care decisions.