Our needs and priorities change as we get older. When we spend less time at our jobs and start to enjoy more free time, we might start thinking about preserving the assets we’ve worked hard to earn. Our team understands that you may have important concerns about protecting your property and family as you enter the later stages of life, and we are here to help.
When you face challenges while planning your estate, preparing for long-term care, or making arrangements for an elderly loved one, seek legal advice from an seasoned lawyer at Sechler Law Firm. A Wexford elder law attorney could offer compassionate and practical support for you and your loved ones.
Older adults often want their heirs to receive assets, rather than having their hard-earned wealth go to nursing home fees, probate expenses, or taxes. However, sometimes people haven’t found time to draft their will. Even people with a will might not have considered other estate planning tools that could preserve their wealth during their lifetime and make settling their estate simpler after their death.
As you age, you should consider whether your current estate plan leaves your assets vulnerable in the event you require long-term care. Wills and trusts established when you were in your prime earning years may require revision to ensure assets pass to designated heirs rather than a nursing home. It’s also important to make sure that the person you might have appointed years ago to handle your affairs after your death is still alive, capable of carrying out the task, and someone you trust to do the job.
If you don’t have a comprehensive estate plan, one of our Wexford elder law lawyers could review your finances and goals to determine the legal documents you need to protect your family and property. If you already have an estate plan, we could review it and ensure it doesn’t need any updates. Any change in your or your loved one’s marital status or health merits a fresh look at your estate plan.
Not everyone has the luxury of preparing for the transition to a nursing home or long-term care. For some people, the need arises suddenly. In these situations, it may become necessary to take a frank look at your financial situation and determine how you will afford long-term care.
An elder law attorney serving Wexford could advise you about how to receive the care you need without draining all your assets. Our team understands Medicare and Medicaid regulations and could help you and your spouse find a way to afford an appropriate level of care. We could also provide support if you have a spouse or parent in long-term care. If your chosen facility is demanding exorbitant fees or trying to send the patient home or to another facility, our legal team could help.
Declining health and the effects of age can sometimes impair a person’s judgment and interfere with their ability to manage their own affairs. According to 20 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes § 5604, state law allows someone to appoint an agent, often an adult child, spouse, or trusted friend, to hold their power of attorney (POA). This agent can make decisions and handle certain matters on behalf of another person, called the principal.
Many agents never have to exercise the POA because the principal can make their own decisions and manage their finances until the end of their life. In other cases, an agent gradually assumes certain duties like handling the principal’s banking or paying their bills.
Sometimes, however, a principal becomes unexpectedly and severely incapacitated. A pre-existing POA may not provide enough authority to the agent to manage all the principal’s affairs and keep them safe. In such cases, it may be necessary to ask a court to appoint a legal guardian. A Wexford lawyer could advise you about the laws surrounding different forms of guardianship to help you make an informed decision about how to protect your elder loved one.
We all hope to retain our health and cognitive abilities as we age. However, it is always best to plan for the future and prepare for the unexpected.
A Wexford elder law attorney could help you make plans to work toward your personal goals in the later stages of life. If you are caring for an elderly spouse, parent, or other loved one, we could also offer support and advice on a range of legal matters. Call today to discuss your situation with a compassionate lawyer.