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.

For example, a person should execute a financial and health care power of attorney. These elder law documents can dictate who will take care of your financial and health care decisions should you become incapacitated. Also, by executing a living will, you can dictate what types of medical interventions you want or don’t want if you are unable to express your preferences.

In addition, one should make sure their family members know whether they’d like to receive in-home care, live with a relative or live in a nursing home when they can no longer care for themselves. These conversations should be had sooner rather than later, so your loved ones know what to expect and can make plans accordingly.

Talking about end-of-life care isn’t the easiest conversation to have. After all, it can be disturbing to contemplate your own mortality. However, the sooner you make decisions regarding your end-of-life care, the better. With the right legal documents in place, you can ensure your loved ones will know what kind of care you want when you can no longer care for yourself.