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Have You Planned for Your Digital Afterlife Yet?

February 20, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Most people are aware of the major benefits of putting together a will to encompass their estate plans. However, have you thought about what might happen to your digital accounts? It could be devastating to your family, for example, if you have not put together a plan to pass on access information to your Facebook accounts or to your online photo libraries.


If your family is unable to access these materials, it could cause additional confusion and stress during a time when they are already grieving your loss. This could be even more amplified for someone who manages a business email account but has not shared the password or given any way for someone else to gain access in the event of an accident.


Many people do not anticipate problems such as a heart attack, stroke or another incident that could render you incapacitated or lead to fatal injuries. It is a good idea to name a data executor in your will who will have permission to access your account in the event that something happens to you. Furthermore, take advantage of the legacy planning options afforded by sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google that empower someone else to be able to access your accounts if something were to happen to you.
This is an excellent policy to put in place in order to protect yourself and to give your loved ones some peace of mind in the event that they need or want to access this information after you pass away.

Disconnect Between Parents and Children on Estate Planning: New Study

February 16, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Most people recognize what estate planning covers in a basic sense, but plenty of research shows that people have trouble following through on developing their own estate planning documents. A new study also shows that there’s a lack of communication or understanding across generations as well. The study from Fidelity identified that many American families may be less prepared than they realize when it comes to leaving behind a legacy and an estate plan. NJ estate planning

Up to 90% of parents and their adult children understood the need for estate planning in general and the value of having clear conversations about it. However, parents reported that the vast majority of them had already had these discussions with children, but that was not echoed in the children’s own answers. Nearly 70% of parents said they had talked about incapacity and estate planning with their kids, but just over half of the adult child respondents affirmed that.

The study also found that nearly 70% of children and parents were not on the same page when it came to the timeline and circumstances appropriate to discuss estate planning. As it relates to legacy planning and important documents empowering someone else to step in on your behalf if something happens to you, sooner is always better. No one can anticipate an accident but plenty of families have had a bad experience trying to work through a loved one’s injury and sudden incapacitation without the right estate planning.

Waiting too long might only make things more difficult for your family members if they are forced into guessing your wishes or, worse yet, the courts have to step in. Planning ahead just in case is a good way to have peace of mind about what will happen if you are suddenly unable to make decisions for yourself. To learn more about the estate planning process in New Jersey, contact an experienced lawyer who can help you structure a plan in line with your needs.





Blended Families and Estate Planning: Looking Ahead

February 15, 2017

Filed under: Blended Families — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

While estate planning is important for everyone, it’s extremely important if you have a blended family. One of the biggest reasons for this is that blended families are much more likely to have complicated issues and it’s a situation in which small mistakes can become big ones if you don’t plan ahead properly. It’s important to identify an attorney who has experience with handling these kinds of complex concerns in your family so that you have peace of mind that you’ve considered all options. 

More and more Americans are part of a blended family. This simply refers to a situation in which one or even both spouses are bringing in children from a prior marriage. It can be really complicated to approach estate planning in these situations in which the adult probably wants to care for their surviving spouse as well as children from the previous spouse. One way to do this is to consider using a trust. When opting for a trust, you have more say and control over how your assets are distributed. Setting up a meeting with an estate planning lawyer is strongly recommended if you’re thinking about using a trust.

It’s about more than putting together new documents, however. You’ll want to be equally concerned about updating documents you already have. Even the best of intentions and clear instructions in your estate planning documents can be overridden if the account in question is one where you need to name beneficiaries. For example, your IRA or your life insurance policy carriers will keep your instructions about who is to receive your assets. If you don’t also update these materials when you get remarried, the company will carry out the last valid instructions you left on your beneficiary forms. If you forget to update these, there’s a strong chance that your previous spouse could be legally entitled to receive some or all of those benefits.

Set aside a time to meet with your estate planning lawyer to talk about how your previous marriage and your new marriage warrant a review of your estate planning goals. Setting aside the time to talk to someone who understands the legal implications of these issues can be extremely helpful and give you some confidence that you’ve put together a plan that reflects your current needs.


What You Should Know About Revoking Your Will

February 14, 2017

Filed under: Wills — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

One of the most common ways for a will contest to emerge is to have a track record of changing or revoking your will. This is not to say that you cannot update materials you’ve put together previously, but simply that you should do so with care. Your will should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure it’s still in line with your wishes, but it’s important to verify that you’re following the best practices in the industry when revoking your will so that it would be difficult for someone to argue down the road that your current will is invalid. last will NJ

One of the primary reasons why you might want to change your will is because your relationship with charities, friends, and family members are capable of changing all the time. When you initially put your will together, it may be part of a clear plan to leave behind certain assets to particular people. Over time, however, these needs may evolve. An old will that is mostly full of outdated information should be revoked. The good news you should be aware of is that it’s typically easier to revoke a will or to change one than to create one from scratch. Sitting down with your estate planning attorney can help prompt questions about why you want to revoke the old will and what your new document should contain instead.

Revoking a will makes the old one invalid. It’s a good idea to set up an appointment with your estate planning lawyer if you intend to move forward with this step. If you do not put together a valid will, people may allege after you pass away that your new will is inaccurate and therefore your old will may still remain viable for pursuing the distribution of your property. Making a big change like revoking your will is something that should be done with the guidance of an experienced estate planning lawyer in NJ who can tell you more about what you need to consider both when terminating the old will and putting together the new one. Details matter in this process, so it’s important to have a lawyer you can trust.





Do You Have a Complete Estate Planning Strategy?

February 13, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

These days, the basic will simply won’t cut it for the vast majority of people approaching their estate plan. This is especially true for those individuals who have amassed wealth over the course of their lifetime.

A comprehensive estate planning strategy includes multiple components beyond planning for your assets to be passed on to another generation. For example, it would also include consideration of your philanthropic goals. In conjunction with your will, estate planning strategies and your philanthropic goals should all be included. 

The right estate planning lawyer can help you determine what should be incorporated into your estate plan. The good news is that your goals can be directly aligned with the documents and tools you use to plan ahead for your future. You can think carefully about your own retirement planning and your estate planning intentions so that things will be as easy as possible for your heirs.

Estate planning should always also look at your goals for while you’re living, too. Too many people focus just on what will happen to their assets after you pass away, but you can also construct documents with your plans for while you’re still alive, such as your healthcare materials to allow someone else to make decisions for you if you become unable to do so. Your power of attorney documents, for example, can give you peace of mind that someone can step in on your behalf if you become incapacitated.

How to Find Retirement Volunteer Opportunities

February 9, 2017

Filed under: Retirement Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Many individuals approaching retirement have spent many years saving for this opportunity and have adjusted their estate planning documents to reflect their retirement goals. However, the transition from the working world to retirement can be a difficult one as far as making use of all of your time.

Spending more time with children and grandchildren is a huge benefit of being retired, but you may also find that you wish to give back to your community. Thankfully, there are many different ways that you can give back to your community by considering some important questions about volunteering. More than 62 million Americans volunteered a median of 52 hours in 2010, according to research gathered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So, if you are hoping to volunteer, you are not alone. That number increases to a high of 96 hours for volunteers aged 65 and over. There are several key things you need to consider when approaching volunteering in retirement. These include:

  •    Seeking out a volunteer job you are good at. Whether you have empathy for others or have specific experience or skills uniquely suited to the position, make sure that you have identified a volunteer opportunity specifically in line with what you need.
  •    Ask yourself why you are actually volunteering. There are many different motivations for signing up for a volunteer opportunity, but ensure that you and the organization you choose to partner with are clear about yours.
  •    Will the need required match your commitment? Make sure that the hours per week required, the duration of the work and the intensity of the work is suitable with the time and energy that you are able to give to the position. Asking colleagues and friends in your community is a great way to get started with the volunteer process.


Six Reasons Why You Need a Revocable Living Trust

February 8, 2017

Filed under: Trusts — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

A revocable living trust affords many different benefits for the people who choose to use it.


There are six primary reasons why a living trust can be extremely beneficial for you. These include:

  •    Protecting property for certain beneficiaries who may be unable to control receiving such a large inheritance. This is very beneficial for anyone who has a spendthrift adult child.
  •    Minimizing or eliminating estate taxes. Depending on the size of your gross estate, transferring property into a trust can help to shield it from your estate when it is time to calculate the estate taxes.
  •    Avoiding probate. Many individuals see the benefits of avoiding probate as keeping their beneficiaries from having to go through the frustrating and sometimes expensive process. Probate is also extremely public, meaning that anyone can learn more information about your estate if you choose not to take advanced steps.
  •    Managing property after incapacity. Although there are other solutions such as a durable power of attorney, the most comprehensive solution is a revocable living trust. This allows a successor trustee to take over in any situation in which you become incapacitated or when you choose to resign. There are many different ways that a revocable living trust can benefit you in this manner.
  •    Avoiding will contest. Wills are much easier to contest than a revocable living trust. Since a revocable living trust contest requires that the individual arguing that you have been unduly influenced or were incompetent has to prove that you met those criteria every single time that distributions were made or property was transferred into the trust as well as when you created the trust to begin with.
  •    Privacy. Many individuals dislike the process of probate because it is extremely public, but a revocable living trust is extremely private and information is only given out in the event that a trustee or the grantor allows it to be so.

Don’t Let Estate Planning Seem Overwhelming to You

February 7, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Many people dread the thought of approaching their estate planning. It’s an uncomfortable reminder that we are all limited by our own mortality, but there can be devastating consequences for putting this off until it’s too late and leaving your heirs with an administrative and financial mess. Those individuals who will receive your assets may receive less because of expenses like taxes and court costs. They may not receive them at all in some situations. This is why estate planning is so important regardless of your age, your health condition or the size of your estate. 


There are several critical documents that belong in any estate plan, the most important of which is known by most individuals and this is a will. This is the legal document that allows you to determine how your assets will be distributed when you pass away. The state intestacy statute in New Jersey will determine what happens to your property if you pass away without a will. Those individuals who have only a will, however, may mean that your assets have to go through the probate process prior to distribution.


Many people living in New Jersey hope to avoid the probate process for the benefit of their heirs and therefore, will use a revocable trust. This trust will act in a similar way as the will, however, it will avoid probate and cut down on expensive court proceedings while also giving greater privacy to your estate.


A durable power of attorney is also strongly recommended as another crucial estate planning tool. This allows another individual to step in and take responsibility for your financial affairs, should you become unable to do so. In the event that you become incapacitated without having taken the planning step of naming a durable power of attorney, the court may be responsible for stepping in and naming someone to act on your behalf in a time consuming and possibly expensive proceeding. Thankfully, your ability to look ahead and plan for these risks including incapacity as well as what happens when you pass away can make things much easier for your heirs.

Major Life Changes That You Need to Incorporate into Your Estate Plan

February 6, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Anytime that a major life change happens, it’s a good opportunity to schedule a meeting with your current estate planning attorney. If you don’t have an estate plan yet, you may need to establish a relationship with someone now so that you can build the trust with this individual to keep your materials updated as you go along.

There are many different situations that could prompt an update in your estate planning materials. This includes not just meeting with your attorney to update your estate planning documents, but also contacting any companies for which you may have beneficiaries listed on the accounts; including your IRA, your bank accounts and your life insurance policies. Some of the most common situations prompting a call to your estate planning attorney for an update include:

  •       Selling an investment property.
  •       Selling a primary residence.
  •       A new child.
  •       Marriage or divorce.
  •       Changes in your health status.
  •       A new job.
  •       Having to care for a special needs child.
  •       Entering retirement.
  •       Decisions to give to charity.

Any of these events could make a great opportunity to update your contingent or primary beneficiaries, add an amendment to your trust or to make adjustments to your will. An experienced estate planning attorney is strongly recommended to ensure that your estate plan is in line with all state and federal laws as well as carrying out your individual wishes.

What Americans Need to Know About the Rising Cost of Long-Term Care

February 2, 2017

Filed under: Long Term Care — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Do you have plans for what would happen to you if you were to become incapacitated? Many people are under the impression that long-term care is something that only older individuals need to consider. It is certainly true that a broad range of baby boomers and other elderly individuals have to think about their long-term care needs as it relates to their longevity and their healthcare concerns. However, anyone can be affected by a long-term care event. 

Consider that some of the claims paid out by long term care insurance companies affect those individuals in their 20s. Just one car accident could have significant repercussions for you.

This highlights the importance of not only having the appropriate long-term care insurance in place, given that the cost of a private nursing home room on an annual basis is edging closer to $100,000 a year, but it also highlights that it’s important for individuals of all ages to have critical healthcare powers of attorney and other documents that articulate who is eligible to make decisions on your behalf, should you become unable to do so. The right estate planning attorney can help you determine what documents are most appropriate for your individual situation.

The best way to plan for long-term care is to have a system in place in the event that something happens to you or someone you know. Consulting with an estate planning and elder law attorney may be the first step you need to take.


Does Experience Really Matter in an Estate Planning Attorney?

February 1, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

If you’ve come to terms with the fact that you need an estate plan and that you should hire an attorney to help you craft one, this is the first stage towards protecting your future and passing on your assets in a responsible and clear manner. Once you’ve made the decision, it’s tempting to hire the first attorney you can find, but it’s far more worthwhile to do a bit of digging to determine whether or not your lawyer has enough experience in the field. NJ estate planning lawyer

All lawyers have received a special education and passed the bar exam in order to practice within their state, but one of the things that can separate an attorney from the rest of the pack is his or her experience. Experience can be years in the field and it can also be how much of the firm’s and the attorney’s practice is dedicated to estate planning. This is because an attorney with experience will probably have handled situations like yours before and will also be up to date with all the relevant options and laws associated with estate planning. Especially in light of the fact that a new president has just taken office, it’s important to identify a lawyer and legal team who has knowledge of the landscape and can help you determine the best way to look ahead.

An attorney that has some experience handling estate issues or does it every so often is not necessarily a bad choice, but the future of your estate is important and you can gain a lot of benefits from working directly with a lawyer who has significant background experience in this field as he or she is more likely to be familiar with the complex nature of estate planning and how the state and federal laws can evolve and impact your planning choices.

To contact our office and set up a meeting with a dedicated and experienced estate planning attorney, send an email today to

Benefits of a Simultaneous Death Clause

January 31, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Most people in New Jersey do not expect to die at the same time as their spouses. Therefore, estate plans may not take the possibility of simultaneous death into account. However, fatal car accidents and other tragedies can result in two family members dying at the same time, and these events may complicate the deceased parties’ estate plans.

The couple or related family members, however, may have their own wishes. Working with an estate planning lawyer in New Jersey helps to cover all bases and ensure that your documents reflect your desires. While it may be impossible to predict the future, the more steps that you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones, the better.


Using a Durable Power of Attorney

January 30, 2017

Filed under: Power of Attorney — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

There are certain situations in life in which you may want someone else to make decisions on your behalf. Without a legal document, your intentions for who should play this role may be impossible to achieve. Thankfully, however, there are documents you can draft with the help of your estate planning lawyer so that this person is already clearly established legally as your power of attorney. 

You may wish to have a power of attorney that empowers different people to step in to make healthcare decisions for you and financial decisions. It’s also possible that the same individual might play both of these roles for you, such as a spouse. Having these documents put together is important, but it’s also critical that you keep them updated if your life circumstances change. For example, if you get divorced, it’s time to schedule a meeting with your estate planning lawyer to update this information. Without making new versions, the last valid version of these documents (as well as your will) remains in effect. This could empower a former spouse to make healthcare or financial decisions for you.

It’s important to have these documents regardless of your age. Many parents of college-bound students will use these documents to ensure that they are able to step in and help if need be. Others overlook this, but this can present healthcare issues as an 18 year old is legally an adult. Adding “visit the estate planning attorney” to your pre-college checklist is strongly recommended both for a review of your own documents as well as putting together durable powers of attorney for the college student.

Equipping someone with your power of attorney is an important responsibility and it’s a choice that should be made carefully. Make sure that not only are you comfortable with the decision but also that the person you name in this role is comfortable playing that part should the time come.

Some Tips for Bringing Debt into Retirement

January 26, 2017

Filed under: Retirement Planning,Reverse Mortgages — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Most people approaching retirement age admit they have struggled with thinking ahead not just about life beyond their working years but also about how to make the money they’ve saved last during that time and to plan appropriately for it after they pass away. While a lot of information out there talks specifically about saving or how to maximize what you save, what about debt that you might be bringing into your golden years? Is there a particular way you should handle it? 

Did you know that the typical American couple has approximately $5,000 of retirement savings? However, debts are on the rise: studies show that debts have tripled since 2003 for those in their mid-60s. Many older Americans are picking up additional debt because they are refinancing their homes, adding on two or three decades worth of payments in the process. Others are taking cash out of a reverse mortgage. Sometimes this borrowing is done with the best of intentions, such as helping one of their children with the cost of a divorce, assisting a grandchild with a college education, or trying to enhance income after a job loss. With the downsizing that usually comes as part of this process, it can lead to a higher mortgage on the first house.

Now more than ever older Americans are working longer to try and make ends meet so that they can cover a child’s advanced education. Even those not pursuing further education may be returning home for additional financial support. The refinance process that might seem like a quick fix for cash flow could even double the size of the original mortgage, though.

Reverse mortgages are also picking up traction even with wealthy older individuals. The reverse mortgage seems like a way to enhance current income without having to delve into a retirement portfolio or a current income stream. Reverse mortgages have very specific rules, however, and should not be taken out until you have had the chance to talk over all the pros and cons.

Being aware of all your debts and being mindful of additional support you may need for healthcare needs is critical for anyone bringing debt into retirement. A team of professional advisors, including a financial advisor and your estate planning attorney, may be extremely helpful during this process.



Top Estate Planning Terms You Need to Know

January 25, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

Delving into the process of estate planning might feel overwhelming if you’re not sure what the various terms mean. Read on to get a glossary briefing about some of the most common terms you might hear during this process. 

Guardian: A person who is appointed to care for another individual. Can be for disabled persons, those unable to make decisions for themselves, and minors.

Fiduciary: A person who makes financial decisions for another in the same manner in which they would make financial decisions for themselves.

Testator: The individual who makes a will.

Executor: The person named in a will responsible for managing the estate after the person who has created the will has passed away.

Intestate: This is the situation in which someone passes away without a will.

Joint Tenancy: When two or more people co-own a property.

Will: A basic estate planning document that allows you to name someone to care for your minor children if you pass away as well as your intentions for distributing your property.

Living trust: An entity established by a person or group of persons with the intention of controlling property, removing it from an estate, and determining how the property will be distributed to others. Offers more privacy than a will.

Probate: The legal process through which the court determines how a person’s assets will be distributed.

Revocable living trust: A trust that can be changed or revoked over the course of the grantor’s lifetie.

Irrevocable living trust: A trust in which the terms cannot be altered.

Power of attorney: A document used to enable another individual to make decisions on your behalf, typically relating to healthcare or to financial issues.


A Will Is an Important Estate Planning Document, But It Doesn’t Always Avoid Probate

January 24, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

An estate plan usually begins with a will or a living trust. While a basic will is important for providing your instructions, it does not avoid probate. Any assets that are titled in your name or directed from your will have to go through the probate process before they can be distributed to your beneficiaries. In the event that you own property in several different states your family will probably have multiple probate situations, each one aligned with the laws in that particular state.

The process can vary tremendously from one state to another and it can become very expensive with executor fees, legal fees and court costs. It can also take anywhere from a couple of months to two years or longer. It can also be opened up to the public in certain situations. This is why it’s important to realize that the court system and not your family actually controls the process of your estate plan if you use only a basic will. Not everything that you do own will have to go through the probate process.

Assets that allow you to name a beneficiary such as annuity or life insurance policy will be exempted from this as well as jointly owned property. However, there are many reasons to consider using a revocable living trust as this is a very popular option for many families and professionals. It helps to avoid the probate process at death and can even assist with multiple probates in the event that you own property in numerous states. It can also bring all of your assets together within one plan and give you a better shield of privacy.

Make Use of the Federal Gift Tax to Pass on Assets

January 23, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:00 am

While your estate plan should certainly include careful strategies about how you want to pass on your assets after you pass away, it might also be worthwhile to use the annual gift tax allowance to transfer some of your property while you’re still alive. This can help a loved one who needs assistance now and it can help you minimize the size of your estate. Of course, this is a strategy that should be evaluated by your New Jersey estate planning taxes

Since the federal gift tax is based on gifts made within a calendar year, perhaps you’re looking ahead to what you want to gift in 2017. You are able to give up to $14,000 to each person every year without facing taxes. This means that if you have a larger gift, you can pool this with your spouse to give up to $28,000, or you can spread out your gift across several years.

In some ways, this allows you to plan ahead over many years and remove assets from your estate. It can also make sense for spendthrift children, who you may want to receive assets, but only in smaller portions than a lump sum. Depending on your needs and goals and the behavior of your beneficiaries, this might be the most effective way to handle your estate. However, this is just one strategy. This gift tax exclusion is something that will likely make up part of your estate planning but not the whole strategy. Meeting with an estate planning lawyer in Monroe Township can help you identify your short-term and long-term planning goals so that you’re making use of all relevant strategies.

Longevity and Estate Planning for the Wealthy in 2017

January 19, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

As longevity has been increasing and advances in medical technology may only continue that trend, it presents an estate planning challenge for anyone, but particularly wealthy families. The major reason for this is that it can be challenging to determine when and how to pass on assets to beneficiaries so that those individuals can begin managing those assets on their own. 

Now more than ever, long-term care is a concern for people approaching retirement age and beyond. With good health, a person may lived ten or twenty years beyond their retirement age. One long-term care event, however, could threaten assets significantly if recovering from that event requires assisted living or a nursing home.

It’s not just about potential physical or mental ailments, either. While those certainly can present obstacles without proper estate planning techniques, there’s also the fact that someone entering retirement or moving on to the next phase of their life might not want to be responsible for asset management anymore. This presents an opportunity for beneficiaries to take over control of the assets while the grantor is still alive.

At face value, this seems ideal, but there may also be side consequences, too. This is why it’s a good idea to sit down with your New Jersey estate planning attorney to discuss whether it makes sense to pass assets on now and to determine the best vehicle for doing so. Planning now helps to minimize the chances of family disputes and can be better for everyone involved when done properly. Set up a consultation with an estate planning attorney today to learn more about how this can help you and your family.

Half of Prince’s Estate Likely Goes to Uncle Sam Due to Poor Estate Planning

January 18, 2017

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

There’s been no shortage of celebrity estate planning blunders in recent years, illustrating that even wealth and celebrity are not protection enough when it comes to planning for the future. So what’s behind the massive estate tax bill? 

The Prince estate is coming up on their deadline to pay the estate taxes for the musical mogul, and it’s believed that up to half of the $200 million estate would be swallowed up immediately with a payment to Uncle Sam. One of the biggest reasons for this preventable tax situation is that Prince left no will and therefore did no planning ahead to shelter any of his assets from the government.

Taking no action can be detrimental for any estate, but the stakes are higher for anyone with substantial assets like Prince. When he passed away, the estate became subject to Minnesota’s 16 percent state tax and a federal tax rate of 40 percent. Adding in deductions and exclusions, the federal government’s cut will likely be closer to 50 percent of the total estate value.


While the size of Prince’s estate certainly makes the issues much more serious in this case, it’s a good example of the value of estate planning for anyone. Taking no action at all can prove catastrophic and add further grief and frustration for your loved ones. There’s a good chance you have plans and ideas for your estate but that you also want to minimize any challenges your loved ones experience, too.

Thankfully, action steps now can make things easier for everyone in the future. Contact an experienced estate planning lawyer in New Jersey to talk further about strategies that you can use to minimize taxes and make the administration of your estate easier on loved ones.

Helping a Loved One Age in Place

January 17, 2017

Filed under: Aging In Place — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

One of the biggest concerns for the retiring population and individuals approaching older ages has to do with being able to age in place. More than ever, people are interested in living out their retirement years and beyond in their own home and comfortable surroundings rather than in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or hospital. 

Careful planning can allow for this situation to become a reality, but family members should always be aware of the best way to support a loved one who has the desire to stay in his or her home. This means thinking ahead about how other support structures, such as visiting family members or a paid individual who checks on your loved one every so often, can give peace of mind to everyone involved.

The first step in this process is to recognize that your loved one’s home as it stands now may not support his or her needs. Some modifications may be necessary in order to help your loved one live a more independent life. It may be worth scheduling a meeting with your family member’s doctor in order to better understand his or her needs and how some changes within the house might be both necessary and helpful.

Recognize that an outside individual in the form of companion support or a home health aide may be the extra level of help your loved one needs so that all the tasks of caregiving do not fall on family members, who may be unable to keep up with a consistent schedule or struggle with overwhelm.

Including all relevant family members as well as healthcare providers for your loved one in the plans for aging in place can allow you to see some of the pros and cons of this decision. Proper support and planning ahead can go a long way.

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