When a person's parents reach an age where they need help with their daily care activities, oftentimes their children step up and serve as caregivers. They do this out of love for their parents and, in general, do not expect to be paid.
Our nation's population is aging. According to the Social Security Administration, men in the United States may live to age 84 on average and women may live to age 86 on average. However, while people in New Jersey may have a will or trust in place, many have not addressed end-of-life care, even though according to one source 70 percent of private bank clients who live past age 65 will eventually need long-term care. However, just because people haven't executed a long-term care plan doesn't mean they do not have opinions about their end-of-life care. It can help to have an understanding of long-term care planning so that a person can execute the proper legal documents that establish their preferences with regards to end-of-life care.
Advance directives are legal documents that indicate what medical care a person wants if they are incapable of expressing their wishes. They are important documents to include in your estate plan, because they document your preferences in a legally binding manner should you become incapacitated. New Jersey elder law recognizes two types of advance directives.
As a person ages, they may reach a point where they can no longer care for themselves. They may need help with daily care activities or they may need in-home health care. Often, a family member steps up and takes on the role of caregiver. While this is often an act of love, it can be confusing if the caregiver does not know what the person's wishes would be. Therefore, people in New Jersey should consider executing the following documents while they are still able, to provide guidance to their caregivers in the future.
People in East Hanover may have heard of the phrase power of attorney, but may not know exactly what this term means. A power of attorney is a legal document a person executes that dictates who will be able to make legal decisions on behalf of the person should the person become incapacitated. The person executing the power of attorney is the principal, and the person chosen as power of attorney is the agent. The two main types of power of attorney are a health care power of attorney and a financial power of attorney. The person executing the power of attorney will determine what their agent will and will not be able to do.
As the baby boomer generation ages, their need for legal services will also grow in ways that they may not initially expect. With longer lifespans and advancements in the medical field comes the fact that a person in New Jersey could be physically or mentally incapacitated for months or even years before passing away. Baby boomers need to prepare for this possibility by ensuring they have the proper legal documents in place that will dictate what their wishes are.
Young or even middle-age adults in New Jersey may think that since retirement is decades away, they can wait to execute an estate plan or care plan, and even retirement planning in these early years is not so important. However, retirement planning and estate planning should be done as soon as one is able to do so. This way, they can protect themselves and their loved ones once they have retired and are physically or mentally unable to care for themselves.
Long-term care insurance has gotten a bad rap lately. People claim it is too costly, and that they'll be better off relying on Medicare and retirement savings when the time comes. However, everyone must remember Medicare will not pay for long term care! If a person is relying on Medicare and retirement savings, they may find that they quickly burn through these resources.
One of the most valuable documents a person in New Jersey can include in their estate plan is a durable power of attorney. In this document, a person can select someone who will make financial decisions on the person's behalf should the person be physically or mentally unable to do so. Without a power of attorney, guardianship must be ordered by the court, which can be costly both in time and money. However, it is important that this document is both current and comprehensive. A durable power of attorney should contain proper provisions with regards to transfers or Medicaid planning.
When it comes to end of life issues, many people are in denial and do not consider their options and thus the medical profession may exercise extra ordinary measures to keep you alive. A person must exercise their legal right to their end of life issues while they are still able to do so.