submitted by E. Garrett Gummer, III, Esquire, and Maureen L. Anderson, Esquire, www.GummerElderLaw.com
As we live through the latest winter storms to strike our area, we often think about how this is affecting our aging parents. Most of us call to ask if they are okay, check on them, bring them groceries and shovel their snow. As caring children and family members, we worry about their safety and well-being. After all, they raised us and gave us a significant part of their lives. In the same way, we should make certain that our parents’ social and financial matters are in order. Sometimes we begin to notice that they may need more help. Seniors may often begin to neglect proper management of their finances or tend to ignore any warning signs regarding their health or well-being. This often becomes a good time to start a conversation with your parents to discuss how they might benefit from assistance from family members. This is also the situation where an effective elder law attorney can be a valuable partner.
Conversations regarding estate planning may include discussing the importance of preparing a new Will, Power of Attorney, and Living Will. Further discussions may include planning for senior living facilities, assisted living placement or nursing home care. This presents the opportunity to review how Medicaid planning and asset protection can preserve a legacy for the family. Meeting with an elder law attorney who is knowledgeable with the ever-changing laws and requirements, and who focuses their practice on these matters, can provide the peace of mind that you get when your mother tells you on a snowy night that she is just fine.