Our pets are often as much a beloved part of the family as are our children, yet they are all too often the forgotten loved ones when it comes to estate planning. With our nation’s senior population expected to double from 2012 to 2050, that means hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of pets are at risk.
Should we, or our loved one, need to be moved into a care facility, or worse, pass on, there should be a plan in place that has the pet’s and owner’s best interests in mind. In an owner’s’ sudden absence, animals can show signs of anxiety that may be mistaken for aggression, sadly resulting in being sent to an animal shelter or worse, put down. This would likely be devastating to the senior and not what they would want for their beloved pet.
Although you can’t replace the senior’s own voice, touch, how he/she plays with the pet, or just how he or she spends time walking the dog. The best that can be done is to have all of the alternatives well established in case the pet must be separated from its trusted friend.
What can you do to make sure your pets are safe, happy, and healthy even in your absence? How about a pet “estate plan”? Each week, Diane Rich posts exciting info for pet lovers in her Canine Chat blog. I was happy to be able to write as a featured guest in her blog at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Check out the link here or click in the image below to see how you can protect your pet and be prepared.
A Place for Mom has become a familiar name for families who are faced with making decisions on finding a senior living placement for their loved ones. Last week, A Place for Mom featured Stuart Furman on their Senior Living Blog. The article, titled “Why Estate Planning Procrastination Kills Your Options” explains just how much trouble and stress estate planning procrastination can cause families, and why it is important to plan ahead to keep future care options open. Click the image below to read more.
It is no secret that procrastination can lead to stress for caregiving families, but why exactly is it so important that you and your family tackle the preparation well ahead of time? Here are a few key issues:
1. Ability to Sign Documents: A parent cannot validly execute any documents if they are no longer mentally competent to do so. This inability to sign documents can cause a whole buffet of problems for the family, and force a family to deal with the issue via a tiresome and lengthy public court proceeding.
2. Clear End-of-Life Wishes: An incompetent parent cannot clearly communicate his or her end-of-life decisions, health care decisions, bequests, and more. Making these decisions ahead of time, and laying them out clearly via properly executed estate planning documents, can save a family from unnecessary emotional and financial stress.
3. Changing Living Conditions to Meet Care Needs is Easier: Without a clear-minded parent, residential living choices cannot be communicated to the children. Addressing these issues well before memory issues arise can make care decisions less painful and leave more options available for families.
4. Maintain Family Harmony: Without clarity, knowledge and detailed planning early on in the eldercare journey, the stress levels can go through the roof, a lot of money may be needlessly spent and relationships between family members can become strained as each has their own idea of how, and where, the care should be provided.
5. Greater Access to Financing Long Term Care: Financial planning options for long-term care may no longer be available due to the health of the parent. Many care and finance options can depend on the health of the elderly loved one, or on their ability to validly execute legal or financial documents. Don’t wait too long and let your options slip away.
Check out the article directly on A Place for Mom and read more about these important issues and what you can do to get ahead of the game and prepare for a loved one’s care.
ElderCare Ready Featured on Next Avenue & Forbes.com: 6 Things Caregivers Must Do While There is Still Time
I was happy to be able to share some helpful information with NextAvenue.org and Forbes.com readers about some of the most critical things that you need to do to prepare for eldercare. Caring for an aging parent is challenging, but not planning ahead adds to the stress and cost immensely.
Check out our article below on Forbes.com by clicking on the image below or by clicking here:
NextAvenue.org is a national media service for America’s 50+ population, partnering with PBS. Read our article on NextAvenue.org by clicking here, or by clicking on the image below: