Every so often it's important to give a reminder of the basic documents, what we can call legal tools that everyone needs. If we had a crystal ball and could see into the future, we would not need to plan ahead for end of life decisions. We have seen many clients through the years where a spouse had a sudden stroke making it impossible to communicate with the family.
Many people respond to advertisements about “living trusts.” Invariably the advertisement has an enticement, such as “avoid probate,” or “avoid taxes.” Sometimes people create a living trust, and sometimes they do not, but in almost all cases, the family does not have a good understanding of what the trust does, and very often, a mistaken impression that the trust will protect their assets if they need nursing home care. The words “living trust” simply mean that the trust is created and assets put into it while you are living. There are innumerable variations on what kind of “living trust” you can have.
As a person ages, social support of relatives and friends decline due to death or illness of loved ones, and children moving far away. Most people do not choose isolation over the pleasure of being with those they love or enjoy. Support from others can be important in reducing stress, retaining physical health and keeping at bay feelings of depression and anxiety.
Your loved one has been admitted for long term care in a convalescent home. You are sad, and apprehensive, and worried about how it will work out. There are numerous stories from friends and relatives about their experiences, some good, some bad. What should you do?
When a parent suffers a stroke, or other sudden acute illness, the family is suddenly faced with difficult and costly decisions about where to get care and how to pay for it. But there may be another matter of great concern, and that is who is legally liable to pay for very expensive long term care.