Don’t wait until it’s too late to address elder law issues

by | Feb 21, 2019 | Elder Law, Firm News |

As a person ages, their mental and physical health eventually begin to wear down. Activities that may have been easy when a person is in their 50s or 60s may become more difficult once they reach their 80s or 90s. Therefore, it is important that people in New Jersey plan for their old age, so that their final wishes are met should they be unable to express these wishes on their own due to mental or physical incapacity.

First, a person will want to consider how they will pay for health care and daily self-care expenses, such as in-home health care or a stay in a nursing home. Some people may find long-term care insurance useful, but this option is best implemented well before they need it. In addition, it can help to visit assisted living communities and nursing homes while you are still mentally sound, so you can choose the facility that best meets your needs if that is the direction you choose to take. Finally, another way to finance end-of-life care is through the execution of a special needs trust, which can help ensure a person remains eligible for government benefits such as Medicaid, without having to become impoverished.

In addition, there are certain estate planning documents that one should consider executing while they are still able to. These include not only a will or trust, but also an advanced healthcare directive and durable power of attorney for healthcare and finances. These documents will delineate what life-extending measures you want performed and can name a person who will make healthcare and financial decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.

When it comes to planning for your old age, it can help to consult with an elder law attorney. These professionals understand what legal documents a person may need to ensure their end-of-life wishes are met. Most people will experience some degree of mental or physical decline as they age, so it is better to plan for this eventuality sooner rather than later.