As we get older it becomes more and more apparent that no matter how much we take care of ourselves and how much we try to avoid hardship, we cannot predict the possible obstacles that the future holds. By the age of 50, you have probably learned that even the best planned strategies need a back-up plan, especially when your loved ones are impacted. For example, what happens if you have a stroke, still able to take care of your physical needs but you find yourself spacing out mentally? This puts you in a vulnerable position to easily become taken advantage of by people targeting your savings. With no one empowered to act on your behalf, you could find yourself missing out on your whole life’s savings by no fault of your own. By the time this has happened, it is already too late, leaving you with little or no legal footing.
Here are some vital tips to take into consideration to protect you, your senior parents and family in the coming years.
- Your Will & Estate Plan – Make sure this is done as soon as possible to assure that you or your loved one is in good health to determine exactly where and how the assets will be passed.
- Power of Attorney – Find someone that is trust worthy to handle your account on your behalf? You should trust that this person will understand your wants/beliefs and will take your loved ones into consideration.
- A Living Will (advanced medical directive) – Assigning someone to take charge in case you find yourself totally or permanently incapacitated is vital. It is your life and you need to make it clear, in case of emergency, what type of health care treatment or support you would like to receive – and to what limits.
- Important Papers Packet – Put together all vital documents, including a comprehensive summery of your assets and benefits. This should have everything pertaining to your accounts and financial information included, such as your SIN number/card, insurance policies, medical alerts, physician information, health records, and titles or bills of any valuable property such land, automobiles or jewelry.
It is a daunting task dealing with the thought of something bad happening but by taking the time to properly plan out your ‘back up’ plan, you will be ensuring that you and/or your loved ones are protected when life becomes unpredictable.
Article by Steffany Gundling. Reprinted with permission from Senior Living Magazine