There’s a certain peace that one feels when things are in order and having your long term care plans in writing is no different - planning ahead is crucial! It can be difficult facing the “what ifs” and the time and financial investment it takes can be daunting, but you and your family members can rest assure that your affairs are settled if a time comes
when you cannot voice your wishes.
Where do you start in this complicated process? First of all, meet with a trusted, certified financial planner or your CPA. He or she can make sure your financial accounts are in order and can advise you on budgeting for future expenses. They can also explain, sell, or direct you to someone who is an expert on long term care insurance.
Secondly, find a reputable lawyer to update your trust or will. Assign a loved one to be the executor of your estate and a separate individual to make medical decisions if you are unable to. Put these documents in a home safe or give a copy to your executor for safe keeping.
Next, meet with a funeral director in your area to make your final arrangements. Funerals average around $8,000, so it can take a great burden off of your loved ones to have not only the plans in place, but also the finances taken care of. From burial plots to cremation urns to special music you would like to have played, making these preparations ahead of time can relieve the stress of planning for your loved ones during this time of mourning.
Furthermore, start pondering possible future living situations. Keep an ear out for potential senior living communities, retirement homes, and assisted living homes that could be prospective residencies. You may also want to consider in-home care or determine which child you may possibly live with. Since life is constantly changing during the years before you may need to make these critical decisions, don’t worry about having these choices set in stone. However, it is nice to have a Plan A, B, or C arranged to prepare for the future.
Finally, let your children or loved ones know that you have made arrangements for your future. Give them a list with all of the pertinent professionals who they may need to contact in case of emergency: your doctor, lawyer, CPA, and funeral director should be on that list along with their current contact information.
A great burden will be lifted when you know that your final plans will be followed, (most) arguments will be avoided, and your family will be cared for. Once your affairs are settled, you are free to celebrate life!