Knowledge and Communication is Key to Avoiding Family Fights
January 26, 2011
Do your adult children know which of them will be your agent under your power of attorney if something happens to you? Most people don’t want to think about Alzheimer’s, dementia, or getting old; and those who have thought about it often choose to keep their wishes secret, their documents held under lock and key until the time comes when they are needed. But according to a recent article in Reuters, one of the most critical steps a parent can take toward preventing sibling fights is to state early and openly which adult child is their choice for agent, and the order of back up successors.
“In order to avoid conflict, parents [should] sit down with their children and spell out who has been appointed and why… It’s something that really has to be thought out in advance, hopefully before a crisis has arisen and while the parent is still able to express their goals.”
Open communication can go a long way toward smoothing relationships between family members, but if that by itself isn’t enough to keep the fights to a minimum, the advice of a trusted advisor can often dispel suspicions that may be brewing just beneath the surface. But don’t wait until arguments have already exploded, the best course of action is to consult with your advisor before intervention is necessary. Asking your advisor to sit down with yourself and your family members gives each child a chance to ask questions and voice their concerns; it also gives them a chance to hear from your own lips what you’re planning and why you’re planning it. Sometimes a simple explanation may go a long way.
Alzheimer’s Disease Can Take Your Memory AND Your Financial Security
October 18, 2009
Alzheimer’s disease affects as many as 5.3 million people in the United States; which means it affects as many as 5.3 million families, because Alzheimer’s is a disease that affects everybody it touches—husbands, wives, children and grandchildren—they all bear witness to their loved one’s slow demise.
Sadly, emotional stress is not the only stress that accompanies Alzheimer’s disease; those loved ones serving as caretakers may carry a huge amount of financial stress as well. According to this article by Denise Bonilla the cost of caring for an Alzheimer’s patient can run anywhere from $64 a day to $77,380 a year, and because Alzheimer’s disease can be such a long-lasting disease (a person can suffer from Alzheimer’s for up to 20 years) the costs of care can end up being astronomical. It’s obvious that people can’t do it alone.
Some of the options to help Alzheimer’s patients pay for medical expenses are long-term care insurance or Medicaid [Medi-Cal in California] (Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of long-term care). Long-term care insurance can be very helpful… if you’ve thought ahead and purchased the policy before you or your spouse began suffering from symptoms of Alzheimer’s. As for the government programs, those also can be helpful… if you fall in the right category and know how to navigate the complex system.
Unfortunately, learning how to navigate the system is not something you can do in an hour or two. Because your experience will depend on a number of unique factors, we cannot give you an easy set of instructions to follow. The best advice we can give is to say that right now, the best way to navigate the Medicaid/Medi-Cal system is to find someone who knows the system to assist you. It is in this endeavor that Elder Law attorneys help their clients on a regular basis. If you wish to ensure that you and your loved ones will be cared for no matter what the future may bring, seek out the advice and counsel of an experienced Elder Law attorney. In doing so, you may just find that your financial security can be secured and a payment source for your loved one’s care expenses found. Free of financial worry, you may then relax and devote more of your energies to supporting your family and loved one. If you wish more information, we invite you to download your own copy of our “Consumer’s Guide To Medi-Cal Planning”.