Category: Caregivers

The Estate of The Union Season 3|Episode 5

The Estate of The Union Season 3|Episode 4 is out now!

The Estate of The Union Season 3|Episode 4 is out now! It surprises some people to discover that the mortality rate in Texas and the USA and the world for that matter is 100%! None of us are getting out of here alive. How we leave this planet can sometimes be determined by how we want to.

While many people die suddenly, many others linger. And the prolonged dying process is where Hospice Austin come into play. We are privileged to have Keisha Jones, the Director of In-Patient Services at Hospice Austin share with us a “better way to die.”

While there are many for profit hospices, and an article in a recent edition of Scientific American highlighted that Hedge Funds are buying up hospices nationwide, Hospice Austin is the only non-profit one in this area. Keisha shares her unique insights into the dying process and gives hope, and we are very thankful for her allowing us to interview her.

To learn more about the incredibly valuable work that Hospice Austin does for the community, please visit their website: www.hospiceaustin.org

 

In each episode of The Estate of The Union podcast, host and lawyer Brad Wiewel will give valuable insights into the confusing world of estate planning, making an often daunting subject easier to understand. It is Estate Planning Made Simple! The Estate of The Union Season 3|Episode 4 is out now! The episode can be found on Spotify, Apple podcasts, or anywhere you get your podcasts. If you would prefer to watch the video version, please visit our YouTube page. Please click on the links to listen to or watch the new installment of The Estate of The Union podcast. We hope you enjoy it.

The Estate of The Union Season |Episode 4

 

Texas Trust Law focuses its practice exclusively in the area of wills, probate, estate planning, asset protection, and special needs planning. Brad Wiewel is Board Certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. We provide estate planning services, asset protection planning, business planning, and retirement exit strategies.

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Navigating Advance Directives in Dementia Care

Navigating Advance Directives in Dementia Care

Navigating the complexities of advance directives in dementia care is one of the biggest challenges for caregivers. The concept of advance directives in healthcare is both a cornerstone of patient autonomy and a source of profound ethical dilemmas, particularly in the context of dementia. This was poignantly illustrated in a recent New York Times article by Dr. Sandeep Jauhar, who shares his personal story about his father’s battle with dementia. This article delves into the complexities surrounding advance directives, especially for patients with dementia, and offers guidance for families grappling with these challenging decisions.

Understanding Advance Directives

Advance directives are legal documents that allow individuals to outline their preferences for medical care if they cannot make decisions for themselves. These directives are crucial in ensuring that a patient’s wishes are respected, particularly at the end of life. However, when it comes to progressive conditions like dementia, the clarity of these directives often becomes blurred.

The Dilemma in Dementia Care

Dementia uniquely challenges the concept of advance directives. As Dr. Jauhar describes, the person who made the directive may evolve into someone with different desires and capacities. This transformation raises the question: should we honor the wishes of the person who drafted the directive, or should we consider the current state and apparent desires of the patient?

Ethical Considerations

This situation presents a significant ethical dilemma. On the one hand, there’s the principle of respecting the patient’s autonomy as expressed in their advance directive. On the other hand, there’s the issue of non-maleficence — the duty to do no harm — which could conflict with a directive when a patient seems content in their current condition despite severe cognitive impairment.

The Role of Family and Caregivers

Families and caregivers often find themselves at the heart of this conflict. They must balance respect for the patient’s previously stated wishes with empathy for their current state. Effective communication among family members and healthcare providers is crucial in navigating these decisions.

Legal and Medical Perspectives

Advance directives legally are typically held as the definitive expression of a patient’s wishes. However, the medical community is increasingly recognizing the need for flexibility, especially in the context of diseases like dementia that significantly alter a patient’s cognitive and emotional state.

Rethinking Advance Directives

There’s a growing consensus that advance directives need to accommodate the possibility of changing perspectives, especially for conditions that affect cognitive function. This could involve incorporating specific clauses about cognitive decline or changing desires in the directive.

Practical Advice for Families

Families should approach advance directives as dynamic documents. It’s essential to regularly revisit and potentially revise these directives, considering the patient’s evolving health status and wishes. Open discussions about end-of-life preferences are crucial, as is seeking advice from healthcare professionals and legal experts.

Conclusion

The journey through a loved one’s dementia, as Dr. Jauhar’s story illustrates, is fraught with complexities and emotional challenges. While respecting a patient’s past wishes is crucial, so is recognizing their present state and evolving desires. The balance between these perspectives is delicate but fundamental in end-of-life care.

Empathy, understanding, and open communication remain our most powerful tools as we continue to confront these issues. It’s imperative to not only consider what was desired in the past but also to remain sensitive to the needs and happiness of the patient in their current state.

For those seeking guidance navigating advance directives, especially in the context of dementia care, it is advisable to consult with a local estate planning attorney. These professionals can provide invaluable assistance in drafting and updating advance directives to reflect your or your loved one’s evolving wishes and medical circumstances. Reach out to your local estate planning attorney today to ensure that your advance directives are consistent with your current desires and legal standards. If you would like to learn more about advance directives, please visit our previous posts. 

Reference: New York Times“My Father Didn’t Want to Live if He Had Dementia. But Then He Had It.” by Dr. Sandeep Jauhar.

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Estate Planning for Unmarried Senior Couples

Estate Planning for Unmarried Senior Couples

An increasing number of couples at various stages of life are choosing to live together without marrying, making estate planning a bit more challenging. This is especially true when considering estate planning for unmarried senior couples, according to a recent article from Kiplinger, “Estate Planning and the Legal Quirks of Retiree Cohabitation.”

From one perspective, living together without being legally married provides an advantage: you have your own estate plan. You may distribute assets after death with no obligation to leave anything to a partner or their biological children. In many jurisdictions, the law requires spouses to leave a significant portion to their surviving spouse. This doesn’t apply if you’re cohabitating.

However, there are downsides. For example, a surviving unmarried partner doesn’t benefit from inheriting assets without estate taxes. A non-spouse transferring assets may find themselves generating sizable estate or income taxes. To avoid this, your estate planning attorney will discuss tax liability strategies.

Owning real property together can get complicated. Consider an unmarried couple buying a property solely in one person’s name, excluding the partner to sidestep any possible gift taxes. If the sole owner dies, the partner has no claim to the property. The solution could be planning for property rights in the estate plan, possibly leaving the property outright to the partner or in trust for the partner’s use throughout their lifetime. It still has to be planned for in advance of incapacity or, of course, death.

Regarding healthcare communication and directives, special care must be taken to ensure that the couple can be involved in each other’s care and decision-making. By law, decision-making might default to the married spouse or kin. Without a designated healthcare proxy, a cohabitating partner has no legal authority to obtain medical information, make medical decisions, or, in some cases, won’t even have the ability to have access to a hospitalized partner. A healthcare power of attorney is essential for unmarried couples.

For senior couples living together, blending families can be challenging. However, blending finances can be even more complex. Living together later in life can create many concerns if there are former spouses or children from a prior relationship. If a senior decides to marry, they are advised to have a prenuptial agreement so children from previous unions are not disinherited. If a potential spouse has big issues signing such a document, it should raise a red flag to their motivation to marry.

Living together without the legal protection of marriage is an individual decision and may be seen as a means of avoiding legalities. However, it needs to be examined from the perspective of estate planning for the unmarried senior couple, to protect both parties and their families. Couples must prepare for the future, for better or worse, in sickness and health. If you would like to learn more about estate planning for unmarried couples, please visit our previous posts. 

Reference: Kiplinger (Dec. 6, 2023) “Estate Planning and the Legal Quirks of Retiree Cohabitation”

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Estate Planning for the Sandwich Generation

Estate Planning for the Sandwich Generation

The sandwich generation, a term for individuals juggling the care of their children and aging parents, faces unique challenges. This demographic, typically in their 30s and 40s, is experiencing a rise due to later childbirth and an aging population, compounded by the recent pandemic’s impact on long-term care facilities. Effective estate planning for the sandwich generation is critical in managing these dual responsibilities.

Understanding the Demographics and Trends

Significant societal trends influence the increasing numbers of the sandwich generation. Understanding these trends is essential for tailored estate planning strategies.

The Importance of Estate Planning

Estate planning is crucial for the sandwich generation. It provides a structured approach to managing the complexities of caring for children and elderly parents. This planning can offer peace of mind and a clear path forward in challenging circumstances.

Key Strategies for Effective Estate Planning

  • Prioritizing and Reprioritizing Responsibilities
    • Estate planning for the sandwich generation starts with effectively managing daily tasks. Identifying urgent versus non-urgent tasks can help balance the care of children and elderly parents.
  • Self-Care as a Crucial Aspect of Estate Planning
    • Self-care is vital to avoid caregiver burnout. Individuals in the sandwich generation need to maintain their well-being to provide the best care for their loved ones.
  • Understanding Legal Rights and Workplace Benefits
    • Knowing workplace rights, such as those provided by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), is an integral part of estate planning for the sandwich generation. This knowledge can help caregivers maintain job security, while caring for their families.
  • Communication and Support Networks
    • Open communication within the family and access to support networks and forums are key to managing the expectations and responsibilities of being part of the sandwich generation.
  • Financial Planning and Resource Management
    • A crucial aspect of estate planning for the sandwich generation is evaluating financial resources. This includes understanding the financial capabilities of aging parents and exploring public assistance or family contributions when needed.
  • Discussions with Aging Parents and Family Members
    • Conversations about care preferences and financial abilities with aging parents and family members are essential. These discussions should be part of the estate planning process.

Legal Documents and Decision-Making Powers

Estate planning include preparing legal documents that empower decision-making for aging parents and minor children. Powers of attorney and healthcare directives are examples of such documents.

Preparing for the Future

Long-term considerations, like home renovations for elderly care, professional services and retirement savings, are essential in estate planning for the sandwich generation. Insurance policies and emergency funds are critical to protecting the family’s future.

Regular Review and Update of Estate Plans

The dynamic nature of the sandwich generation’s responsibilities necessitates regular reviews and updates of their estate plans. This ensures that the plans stay relevant and effective in meeting the family’s changing needs.

Conclusion

Effective estate planning for the sandwich generation is essential in managing their complex role. With the right planning and resources, individuals in this generation can provide for their families, while caring for their elderly parents.

If you’re part of the sandwich generation, consider consulting with an estate planning attorney to develop a plan tailored to your unique situation. This step can be pivotal in securing your family’s future and navigating the challenges you face. If you would like to learn more about estate planning for caregivers, please visit our previous posts. 

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RLT can Help with Planning for Incapacity

RLT can Help with Planning for Incapacity

Planning for potential disability and mental incapacity is part of a comprehensive estate plan. Women, in particular, are at a higher risk of becoming disabled, with 44% of women 65 and older having a disability. Most people understand the value of an estate plan. Nevertheless, few know how to that a Revocable Living Trust, or RLT, can help with planning for incapacity, as explained in the article “Incapacity Planning: The Hidden Power Of A Revocable Trust” from Financial Advisor.

Revocable Living Trusts are highly effective tools to protect assets against failing capacity. Although everyone should have both, they can be more powerful and efficient than a financial Power of Attorney. An RLT offers the freedom and flexibility to manage your assets while you can and provides a safety net if you lose capacity by naming a co-trustee who can immediately and easily step in and manage the assets.

Cognitive decline manifests in various ways. Incapacity is not always readily determined, so the trust must include a strong provision detailing when the co-trustee is empowered to take over. It’s common to require a medical professional to determine incapacity. However, what happens if a person suffering cognitive decline resists seeing a doctor, especially if they feel their autonomy is at risk?

Do you need an RLT if you already have a financial Power of Attorney? Yes, for several reasons.

You can express your intentions regarding the management and use of trust assets through the trust. A POA typically authorizes the agent to act on your behalf without specific direction or guidance. A POA authorizes someone to act on your behalf with financial transactions, such as selling a home, representing you and signing documents. The co-trustee is the only one with access to assets owned by the trust, while the POA can manage assets outside of the trust. Having both the POA and RLT is the best option.

Trustees are often viewed as more credible than a POA because RLTs are created with attorney involvement. POAs are often involved in lawsuits for fraud and elder abuse.

Suppose there is an instance of fraud or identity theft. In that case, RLTs provide another layer of protection, since the trust has its own taxpayer ID independent of your taxpayer ID and Social Security number.

Your co-trustee can be the same person as your POA.

Adding a trusted family member as a joint owner to accounts and property provides some protection without the expense of creating a trust. However, it does not create a fiduciary obligation, enforceable by law, for the joint owner to act in the original owner’s best interest. Only POAs or trustees are bound by this requirement.

Once a POA is in place, it is wise to share it with all institutions holding accounts. Most of them require a review and approval process before accepting a POA. Don’t wait until it’s needed, when it will be too late because of incapacity, to have a new one created.

If you know that planning for incapacity is in your family’s future, consider how an RLT can help. Talk with your estate planning attorney about planning to create an RLT and POA to ensure that your assets will be protected in case of incapacity. If you would like to learn more about incapacity planning, please visit our previous posts. 

Reference: Financial Advisor (Oct. 18, 2023) “Incapacity Planning: The Hidden Power Of A Revocable Trust”

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An Attorney can help when applying for Medicaid

An Attorney can help when applying for Medicaid

Medicaid is a vital program that provides healthcare coverage for individuals and families with limited income and resources.  Hiring an attorney can help when applying for Medicaid. Their expertise can be invaluable in ensuring a smooth and successful application process.

Film Daily’s recent article, “Do You Need a Lawyer to Apply for Medicaid?” says that applying for Medicaid involves gathering the necessary documentation, filling out an application form and submitting it to the state Medicaid agency.

The application typically requires information about your income, assets, household composition and medical expenses. It’s important to provide accurate and complete information to avoid delays or potential issues with your case.

A lawyer specializing in Medicaid can walk you through the application process, ensure that you meet all of the requirements and provide the correct documentation.

A Medicaid planning lawyer can also help you understand any legal implications and address any concerns that may come up during the application process.

Here are some scenarios where hiring a lawyer might be a wise move:

  • Complicated Financial Situations: If you have complex financial arrangements or significant assets, a Medicaid planning lawyer can help you navigate the Medicaid eligibility requirements while protecting your interests.
  • Long-Term Care Planning: If you or a loved one requires long-term care services, a lawyer with expertise in elder law and Medicaid planning can help you develop a strategy to protect your assets while accessing the necessary healthcare services.
  • Denied or Delayed Applications: If your Medicaid application has been denied or delayed, a Medicaid planning lawyer can help you appeal the decision or address any issues that may have caused the delay.
  • Changing Regulations: The program rules and policies can change over time. An experienced Medicaid lawyer can ensure that you stay informed about any updates that may affect your eligibility or benefits.

Consider hiring an Elder Law attorney to help when applying for Medicaid. He or she may be the difference between receiving benefits and being denied. If you are interested in learning more about Medicaid planning, please visit our previous posts. 

Reference:  Film Daily (July 25, 2023) “Do You Need a Lawyer to Apply for Medicaid?”

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Essential Estate Planning Documents every Caregiver Needs

Essential Estate Planning Documents every Caregiver Needs

Being a caregiver for a loved one can be one of the most emotionally challenging things you can do. There are so many aspects of your loved ones life that you are suddenly responsible for managing. So many important discussions about estate planning and writing a will are emotionally challenging as they ask those involved to come face-to-face with their mortality. But these are important discussions, says a recent article, “Elder Law Guys: All the documents to have in place when you’re an adult caregiver,” from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The sooner these conversations take place, the better. There are some essential estate planning documents every caregiver needs to have available.

Here are the documents needed:

General Durable Power of Attorney. The financial POA is the most essential estate planning document. An agent is named to stand in for the parent or other person and make all financial and legal decisions. Name not just one but two successor agents to serve if the primary agent cannot or will not serve when needed. If no POA or agent can serve, the family will need to petition the court to have a judge name a guardian to manage the person’s financial affairs. There’s no guarantee that the court will name a family member. POA law varies by state, so speak with an estate planning attorney to ensure the POA permits the specific actions you want the agent to be able to take.

Durable Healthcare Power of Attorney and a Living Will. In some estate planning practices, these two documents are combined, while in others, they are separate. For the Healthcare POA, an agent is named to make health care decisions for the person. It’s advised to name two successor agents in case the primary person cannot or does not wish to serve in this capacity.

A Living Will contains the person’s wishes regarding receiving life-sustaining treatment in the event they can’t make their own decisions and the treating physician has determined the patient is either suffering from an irreversible coma, is in a persistent vegetative state, or an end-stage medical condition not survivable even with treatment.

Last Will and Testament and Trusts. The last will and trusts both dictate how property will pass, but the will directs how property is passed upon death. A trust contains provisions to manage assets during a person’s lifetime. Assets owned by a trust don’t go through probate, so they transfer directly to beneficiaries, and their value and the identity of beneficiaries remain private.

Suppose there are family members who are disabled. In that case, the estate plan should include a Supplemental Needs Trust to hold any inheritance from a disabled beneficiary who receives needs-based government benefits. Otherwise, the disabled recipient will become ineligible for government benefits. Depending on the circumstances, parents may want assets to be held in trust for other beneficiaries until they can manage their inheritances wisely.

Asset Protection Trust. An irrevocable Asset Protection Trust holds assets to shelter them from the cost of long-term care and can reduce or eliminate estate taxes for beneficiaries. An estate planning attorney will know which type of Asset Protection Trust will be most effective for your situation.

Beneficiary Designation Forms. All accounts or assets with beneficiary designations should be reviewed to be sure the named beneficiary is correct.

These essential estate planning documents should be stored in a known location so the may be available for a caregiver to access, if they need. Documents must be reviewed every three to five years to ensure they align with the parent’s wishes. Estate and tax laws change, relationships change, and people move and pass on, so it’s important to keep these documents updated. If you would like to learn more about the role of a caregiver, please visit our previous posts. 

Reference: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (July 8, 2023) “Elder Law Guys: All the documents to have in place when you’re an adult caregiver”

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Single Parents Need Estate Planning

Single Parents Need Estate Planning

For single parents, estate planning is an even greater need than for married couples, advises a recent article, “Estate planning 101 for single parents,” from The Orange County Register. However, even single parents blessed with a strong support system need an estate plan to protect their children. Single parents need estate planning. Here’s why.

An estate plan names a guardian in the will. Who will raise your children and become their guardian if you unexpectedly die or become incapacitated? If the other parent is surviving and has not lost parental rights, they will have custody of the child or children as a matter of law. This is not guardianship.  They are the legal parent.

However, if the other parent is deceased or their parental rights have been terminated, the court will need to grant guardianship. You need two documents to name a person whom you would want to raise your child. One is your will. It’s a good idea to list more than one person, in case someone named cannot or doesn’t wish to serve.

For example, “My mother, Sue Sandler, and if she cannot serve, then my brother Mike Sandler, and then my friend Leslie Strong.” There’s no guarantee that the court will appoint any of these people.  However, the court may consider the parent’s preferences.

Depending upon your state, you could have a “Nomination of Guardian” document separate from your will. Remember that your will becomes effective only upon your death. If you become incapacitated, this document would be considered when determining who will be named guardian.

You’ll also want a health care directive. This document states who is authorized to make health care decisions for you, if you cannot, and provides general directions about what kind of care you want to receive.

If there are minor children, a “Nomination of Health Care Agent” should also be in place, where you nominate another person to make healthcare decisions for your children if you cannot. For example, if you and your children are in a car accident and you are incapacitated and can’t respond to authorize health care, hospitalization, or other care for your child.

A will and a trust are critical if you have minor children. The will sets forth your nomination of guardians, and a trust can hold your assets, including life insurance proceeds and any other significant assets for the benefit of your children as directed in the trust. The trust is managed by the successor trustee appointed in the trust document. Even if the other parent lives and the child lives with them, the trust is controlled by the trustee, so your ex cannot access the money and the children receive the funds according to your wishes.

If you have only a will and die, your estate will go through probate and assets will effectively be put into a trust for the child and be given to the child when they become of legal age. However, most 18 or 21-year-olds are not mature enough to manage large sums of money, so a trust managed by a responsible adult with a framework for distribution will ensure that the assets are protected.

Once a child reaches the age of legal majority, they are considered an adult. As a result, the nomination of a guardian is no longer necessary, nor is the nomination of a health care agent. However, this is when they need to execute their health care directive, power of attorney and HIPAA form. If they were to become seriously sick, even as their parent, you would not have any legal right to discuss their care or treatment with health care providers without these documents. Single parents need estate planning to ensure the future care of their children. If you would like to learn more about estate planning for single parents, please visit our previous posts. 

Reference: The Orange County Register (March 12, 2023) “Estate planning 101 for single parents”

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Documents needed for Advance Care Planning

Documents needed for Advance Care Planning

Starting discussions earlier helps ensure that a person with dementia stays involved and understands the planning process. In the same fashion, regular reviews of plans over time are beneficial for ensuring that their wishes are carried out. There are a few essential documents needed for advance care planning that you need to have included.

Health News’ recent article entitled “Can Someone With Dementia Sign Legal Documents?” cautions that, when family members don’t know the preferences of their loved one, they have difficulties and stress in making decisions. Family members may also have feelings of guilt, self-doubt and stress while making advanced care decisions.

Laws in each state may differ. Working with an experienced elder law attorney can help seniors interpret state laws, plan how wishes should be carried out and understand financial options.

Geriatric care managers, trained social workers, or nurses can also offer support to those living with dementia, as well as their families.

While advance care planning, families and their loved ones with dementia should create a plan for long-term care and plan for funeral arrangements in advance.

Advance care planning documents commonly include the following:

  • A durable power of attorney for healthcare names someone to function as a proxy for the person with dementia, when he or she may be unable to make healthcare decisions for themselves.
  • A living will includes an individual’s wishes for end-of-life treatment. This can concern specific procedures such as dialysis, tubal feeding, or blood transfusion. If the person becomes permanently unconscious (coma), families can make treatment decisions based on wishes expressed in a living will.
  • A do-not-resuscitate order (DNR) is put with a patient’s chart when the patient doesn’t want to receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if their heart stops or breathing ceases. A doctor needs to sign these DNR orders before they can be placed in the patient’s charts.

Advance care planning can be a sensitive topic for families and those with dementia.

Getting medical and legal advice early is helpful in planning advance care. Involving the person with dementia in the planning process also helps families ensure that the wishes of the patient are respected. Work with your estate planning attorney to ensure these needed documents for advance care planning are included in your overall planning. If you would like to learn more about advance care planning, please visit our previous posts. 

Reference: Health News (Jan. 11, 2023) “Can Someone With Dementia Sign Legal Documents?”

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How the Guardianship Process Works

How the Guardianship Process Works

For family members of the estimated 6.5 million dementia patients in the U.S., it is crucial to understand whether guardianship may be an option for their loved one. A recent article from Next Avenue titled “Thinking of Becoming a Guardian?” explains how the guardianship process works and what factors go into the decision-making process.

Guardianship is the position of being responsible for someone else. State courts usually appoint a guardian to make decisions for a person, if the court finds that person to be incapacitated or unable to make safe and reasonable decisions for themselves. People who are placed under guardianship, known as “wards,” often lose their independence in making financial, legal and health care decisions.

If full guardianship is awarded, the person cannot make decisions about whether they may vote, marry, where they live, or make their own end-of-life decisions.

Two tasks that are evaluated when considering guardianship are a person’s ability to manage personal finances and to take medications as prescribed.

The court may call on a geriatrician or psychiatrist to evaluate the person’s functional behavior, cognitive function, disabling conditions and ability to meet their essential needs.

There are benefits to guardianship for someone who is not able to care for themselves. It ideally creates a safety net for a person who cannot make informed decisions for themselves.

this, of course, assumes that the guardian is honest and accountable, which is not always the case. The inconsistencies plaguing the guardianship system include minimum standards for guardians, lack of regular independent reviews of the need for guardianship and lack of educational requirements for guardians.

Once guardianship is assigned, there is a tendency for the person to become lost when no follow-up is done. The very same person who lacks capacity to care for themselves is not going to be able to advocate for themselves, contact an attorney or access funds for court proceedings.

There is also a tendency to assign full guardianship for a person, rather than less restrictive alternatives.

There are alternatives, but they require planning and discussion. More than 40% of Americans have not discussed their wishes for end-of-life care with their loved ones, according to an article in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Families should have a conversation at the first sign of memory loss or when preparing for retirement regarding wishes for end-of-life care and write them down as part of an Advanced Directive—also known as a Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney—when preparing their estate plan.

Another important document, although not legally binding, is a “Value History,” where you share your values and beliefs as they may impact care choices.

Designate a Power of Attorney and list two or even three back-up candidates. This person will be responsible for financial, legal and personal matters, avoiding the need for guardianship.

Appointing a family member or friend as a guardian is the ideal solution. However, there are instances when the best person to be a guardian is not a family member, but a court-appointed outsider. This relieves the family of being the ones who need to inform a person suffering from dementia with the news of having to move into a nursing home facility or sifting through financial records to learn that the family home is in foreclosure. The family can focus on being supportive and loving, while the guardian deals with the sometimes harsh realities of the person’s life.

Speak with your estate planning attorney to learn about how the guardianship process works, and whether it may be the right move for your family. If you would like to learn more about guardianships, please visit our previous posts.

Reference: Next Avenue (Dec. 23, 2022) “Thinking of Becoming a Guardian?”

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Information in our blogs is very general in nature and should not be acted upon without first consulting with an attorney. Please feel free to contact Texas Trust Law to schedule a complimentary consultation.
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