Why Caregivers Should Care About Estate Planning
More than half of Americans don't have a will, even though most agree that wills are a good idea. For caregivers, planning ahead for their unexpected death is even more critical since the people who depend on their services will likely still need help.
A focus on estate planning can help caregivers determine the next steps for those they look after, and provide better peace of mind. If you are a caregiver and still unsure as to whether an estate plan is necessary, here are a few reasons to consider one.
Allows you to Decide Long-Term Care for Your Loved One
If you are the primary caregiver for a loved one and something happens to you, someone else will need to take over the role. Would you prefer that other family members take this role? Or would a long-term care facility better suit their specific needs? With an estate plan, you can have a plan in place so that your loved one's care continues the way you wish it to.1
Helps Prepare for Ongoing Care Costs
Ongoing care for your loved one will likely come with various costs after you pass. The new caregiver may need to stop working to perform caregiving duties. Or, if your loved one is moved to a long-term care facility, you can designate specific funds from your estate to cover those costs.1
Allows You to Designate New Caregivers for Your Loved One
Whether your loved one will be living with other family members or moving into a long-term care or assisted care facility, they will still likely need some type of caregiver. This caregiver will typically need power of attorney over your loved ones' finances or medical decisions if they are unable to do so for themselves. If this is not in place, those you wish to help care for your loved one may have to undergo a long process to obtain these rights.1
Makes it Easier for Final Wishes to Be Implemented
While it is always good to make your wishes known to those who may be involved with settling your estate, by communicating your specific wants in an estate plan, you will be able to breathe a little easier knowing that everything is clearly spelled out and available for everyone to see. This will also help clarify any gray areas that could lead to family fighting and relationship strain.2
Whether you are a caregiver for an elderly loved one, a special needs child, or another family member needing help, having an estate plan in place will help continue the care you provide to keep them happy and healthy.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
This information is not intended to be a substitute for individualized legal advice. Please consult your legal advisor regarding your specific situation.
All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.
This article was prepared by WriterAccess.
LPL Tracking # 1-05351241.
1 “A Guide to Estate Planning,” caring.com, https://www.caring.com/caregivers/estate-planning/
2 “3 Tips When Including Caregivers in Your Estate Planning,” Elder Law Answers, https://www.elderlawanswers.com/3-tips-when-including-caregivers-in-your-estate-planning-19201