Massachusetts residents are living longer now than ever before. This could mean that the possibility of some older people becoming incapacitated is a real concern. Adult children may want to discuss estate planning with their parents in order to ensure that a plan is in place just in case.
Once an elderly parent’s health is on the decline, it might be too late to prepare for an easy transition for an adult child to take over making financial and healthcare decisions on behalf of his or her parent or parents. It may be difficult to bring up money and the possibility of incapacitation with a parent. However, it is the first step toward ensuring that a parent is taken care of as he or she ages.
In order to properly care for another individual in these circumstances, formal authorization must first be obtained from either the individual or a court. Going to court can cost both time and money that neither party may have in the event that a parent becomes incapacitated. Powers of attorney can avoid this eventuality, but broaching the subject is often delicate since no one likes to think of giving up control of their lives as they age.
It is never too soon for a Massachusetts resident to begin estate planning. Powers of attorney allowing a trusted individual to make financial and/or medical decisions in appropriate circumstances are an essential part of any estate plan. Most children — no matter what their age — do not want to think of their parents as being unable to take care of themselves. However, it is a reality that many people face every day, and being prepared for it can provide at least some peace of mind for everyone involved.
Source: FindLaw, “Help a Loved One Make a Power of Attorney“, Nov. 23, 2014