Now that people are living longer thanks to medical advancements, more Massachusetts residents should consider what would happen when they are no longer able to carry out daily activities without assistance. Most people consider powers of attorney for a time when they are completely unable to care for themselves or make decisions on their own. However, most people who are ultimately considered to be incapacitated experienced a decline in mental function that did not happen overnight.
No one likes to contemplate his or her own demise or a time when someone else may need to make important decisions because he or she is not able. That may be why one of the hardest decisions for most Massachusetts residents to make is to begin the estate planning process. Once begun, other decisions can be made that will give the individual and family members peace of mind that a plan is in place.
More than likely, Massachusetts residents do not want to think about a time when they may be unable to deal with day-to-day tasks alone. Even so, as the age of the country's population increases, the probability of needing long-term care is also increasing. Further, no one can predict when an accident or illness will prevent him or her from making decisions. Therefore, it would be beneficial to plan for this eventuality, and estate planning is essential to this process.
A Massachusetts resident does not have to be married in order to benefit from an estate plan. Being single might not mean that there is a spouse or children to worry about, but that does not mean that estate planning is not a necessity. In some ways, it is even more important for someone who does not have his or her own family to make preparations in case of incapacitation or death.
Most Massachusetts residents are already taking care of their families' day-to-day needs. However, it is equally as important to take care of their needs in the event that you become incapacitated or pass away. Furthermore, if a member of your family is unable to take care of themselves due to an accident or illness, it might fall on you to take care of your loved one. Fortunately, estate planning can help you take care of your family under any of these circumstances.
Most Massachusetts residents are not anxious to contemplate their own deaths. It might be just as unnerving to consider the fact that they might not be able to make decisions for themselves at some point due to incapacitation caused by an illness or injury. However, it is just as important to consider what they would like to happen if the eventuality arises. Fortunately, estate planning is more than just wills and trusts, and certain documents can be executed to make one's wishes known and to appoint a trusted individual to take care of financial and health considerations if needed.
Over the holidays, many Massachusetts families might have had difficult conversations with their elderly parents regarding whether they are prepared for a time when their parents may become incapacitated or pass away. Now that those conversations have occurred, it might be possible to help them find the assistance they will need with estate planning. Depending on the circumstances, the elderly parents might need several different documents in order to protect themselves, their heirs and their estates.
Many Massachusetts residents contemplate a retirement in which they can travel, indulge a hobby, or enjoy being home and spending time with family. Unfortunately, many fail to consider that a debilitating condition could change those plans forever. Therefore, they also fail to consider long-term health care planning, which could be costly later in life.
Many Massachusetts readers are already aware that the average age of the country's population is rising. People are living longer, which increases the odds that they will need some level of assistance toward the end of their lives. Accordingly, estate and health care planning take on more significance.
The unfortunate truth is that not everyone will spend their "golden years" being able to care for themselves. Therefore, it is essential that part of every Massachusetts resident's estate plan provides for long term care. Any plan for long term care should include durable powers of attorney.