While New Jersey individuals over the age of 50 with aging parents may be under the impression that their parents have a plan in reserve for their final years, this may not be the case. More than 80 percent of people older than 65 live at home and independently, but this can rapidly change should a health crisis occur. According to the president and CEO of a nonprofit continuing care retirement community, the children of these vulnerable individuals would do well to ask a series of questions in order to form a solid plan for the future. First, one should evaluate how well his or her parents are really doing in terms of keeping up with everyday tasks and maintaining a healthy social life in addition to their overall picture of health. Second, one must ask his or her parents whether they need help, and the honest assessment should include how much and what type of help, if any, is needed.
Another invaluable question addresses whether or not another living situation might be preferable for one's parents; they may not have investigated or weighed other options. Last, one must discern their wishes. These include everything from medical decision-making in the event of incapacity to funeral preparations.
An attorney may assist a person in developing an estate plan for his or her parents in a number of ways, including drafting a last will and testament to addressing Medicaid planning and many other issues in between. An attorney may also assist with preparing a medical or financial power of attorney to deal with issues should an aging parent be unable to make certain decisions.
Source: Huffington Post, "5 Questions Everyone With Aging Parents Needs To Ask", Justine Vogel, September 17, 2013