Michigan Will and Trust Lawyer on How to Approach End-of-Life Planning with An Elderly Parent

Any Michigan will and trust lawyer will tell you that estate planning is an important process for any family, but it can be especially difficult for older parents who are nearing the end of their lives. If you’re an adult child caring for an elderly parent, the following tips can help you avoid unnecessary stress as your parents lose the ability to live independently and/or approach their final days.

First, make sure your parent has an Advance Healthcare Directive in place. This document will outline your parent’s wishes for medical care and treatment near the end of life (including wishes for ventilators, feeding tubes, and other artificial life-saving measures). Knowing your parents’ wishes ahead of time will allow you to honor them with confidence should they begin to decline.
From there, it’s helpful to discuss your parents’ wishes with other family members or trusted caregivers. It’s important that everyone is on the same page so that caregiving roles are as clear and easy as possible. By having the information, authority, and legal documents you need ready in advance, you can make sure everyone knows exactly what to do when end-of-life issues arise.

Next, review your parents’ financial statements and get an understanding of their income and expenses. Having this information will be critical to handling their affairs once they become incapacitated or otherwise unable to handle financial matters.  You may also need the assistance of a Michigan will and trust lawyer to create a Power of Attorney so that you have the legal authority to communicate with banks and other financial institutions.

Finally, determine what kind of living situations your parent is comfortable with before you need to make a decision on their behalf. You can help them determine their preferences for hospital care, rehab or nursing home care, and assisted living facilities should their health decline to a level where they are no longer safe to live at home.

If you have any additional questions about making an estate plan to handle end-of-life issues for an older parent, we are here to offer guidance and assistance. Simply contact our Michigan will and trust lawyers at 844-885-4200 to schedule a consultation.

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