The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch section recently ran an article about actor Rob Lowe being blindsided when his parents needed long-term care. Like most people, he did not realize how much time, effort, and money it takes to care for someone with chronic needs, until it happened to him. He stated in the article that having the talk with your parents is extremely important, even if you or your parents are initially reluctant.
One important way you can begin the process is to have your parents execute a Power of Attorney. You can explain to them that, should something happen, this document will enable you to take care of their financial obligations, and – most importantly – assist them with long-term care planning. They can sign the document and put it in a safe place until needed. Then, in case of an emergency, they and you are prepared. If, for example, your father does not have a Power of Attorney and he has a debilitating stroke, you would not be authorized to manage his financial affairs. You would need to go through an expensive and frustrating guardianship proceeding at the very time you need most to be focusing on his care.
Foreseeing the issues that are most likely to affect seniors and the disabled, and preparing their clients to be able to handle them, is the work of Elder Law attorneys every day. Lamson and Cutner has deep experience in this field, and our clients tell us often how valuable it is to them.