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Caring for young and old family members: planning considerations

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2016 | Estate Administration & Probate

“[Y]ou have to address the elephant in the room.”

So says one estate planning attorney and commentator who is unquestionably voicing what other planning professionals routinely know is true and candidly advise their clients to do.

In the context of estate planning in California and nationally, the elephant is synonymous with aging, which is simply a reality for all families: mom, dad and other senior family members do get older and, as they do, increasingly more — and urgent — estate planning considerations come to the fore.

And they do so, of course, with a sense of urgency.

These days, that urgency is underscored and often emphasized in a national sense through relevant numbers relating to the baby boomer generation. As one recent media article focusing on the struggle faced by many mid-aged people caring for both children and their parents notes, the current number of Americans 65-plus years of age is expected to nearly double by 2050, to about 84 million people.

That will put very exacting duties on caregivers and stretch family finances to the limit in many cases.

The above-cited commentator notes that families with aging members are well served by candidly and timely raising age-related issues and concerns, and then purposefully crafting a plan to deal with them as effectively as possible.

“People will be on a journey to chaos unless they do financial and care planning,” he says.

The upside closely related to doing that requisite planning is, of course, that a family’s journey with aging parents can be greatly smoothed out by attending to important estate planning matters — for example, Medicare, Medicaid, long-term planning, trust creation, property disposition, power of attorney execution and so forth — before extreme aging or incapacity makes doing so inordinately difficult.

A proven estate planning attorney can answer questions and help an individual or family craft a tailored estate plan that makes optimal sense and that fully strives to promote the best interests of all involved parties.


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