Growing old is not just about considering your health. It’s about the legal issues that intertwine with being in your old age. There are legal issues to aging, too. Is your family prepared for it? Are you prepared for it? Do you know what you’re going to do and who will make the decisions once you can no longer decide for yourself? It’s important to take care of these things when you’re in your middle age because that’s the best time to make the right decisions for your family.
Choose Who Will Make the Decisions When You’re Old
There are many decisions that your family has to make once you grow old. Who’s going to take care of you? Who’s going to decide whether to place you in a nursing home or not? How about your finances? Who will decide on how to spend it? Normally, you will leave these things on your spouse and children. But if you do not have a family or you are not on good terms with them, you’d be better off hiring a senior care lawyer. This is someone who can make the necessary legal decisions in your stead once you’re old and gray.
It’s uncomfortable to think about your deathbed, but it’s something everyone has to face at some point in their lives. Isn’t it worse not to know who’s making the decisions for you when you’re on your deathbed? You can plan for this by hiring an attorney. You can tell the attorney your plans and choices and have them refuse certain medical treatments that you don’t want.
Beware of Giving Gifts and Inheritances
If you have kids and want to leave them in your house, should you transfer the deed to them or leave it in a will? Most parents think it’s better to give the house a gift and put the title on their name. This is convenient for your children since they don’t have to go to court to inherit whatever wealth you have. Why is this a legal problem? If a homeowner enters a nursing facility within five years of gifting it, they can be penalized and made to pay tens of thousands of dollars. You may need a lawyer to prevent this from happening.
Pay Off Your Debts
Do you even owe that much money? Older adults may be shocked to find out that they owe more than they think they do, especially if their spouse passed away before them. If your late spouse has a credit card balance, do you need to pay for that? Given your old age, a good lawyer may argue on your behalf. If you are not working anymore and living off on your retirement pension, it may be a good thing to look into how you can “escape” from having to pay your debts.
A qualified attorney can guide you through the process. Also, you have to recheck all the items in your credit report to make sure that you’re paying only what you owe. This is a process you should start as early as you can because you don’t want to be paying your debts when you’re in the nursing home already.
Get a Power of Attorney (POA)
Who will take care of your assets and liabilities once you are no longer able to decide on your own? A power of attorney (POA) will eliminate the need for your family to seek legal guardianship if they want to help you financially in the future. That’s the thing about becoming old. You are still liable and answerable to all legal matters. This is why you need to choose someone you can trust to take care of these things for you. Do not draft a POA on your own, though. In some states, only a lawyer can execute it for you. A lawyer will also help you play within the legal boundaries of what the POA can and cannot do.
Rethink Home Care Aides
If you are thinking of getting home care assistants, know that you may have to pay for their unemployment insurance. You will be considered as an employer. As such, you need to compensate the caregivers well. There might be financial impediments to this since it is more expensive than simply being in a nursing home. Rethink your decision of having home care aides because you might be spending more than you can shoulder.
The perfect time to think about the legality of old age is now. No one knows what will happen next, so it’s best to be cognizant of the fact that you are not in control. One day, you are fit and healthy. The next, you can barely take care of your own needs. Do the best for yourself as early as today and prepare your family and finances legally.