Happy New Year! Welcome to 2016. It’s the season for new year resolutions, and in addition to losing weight and quitting smoking, we have a suggestion: getting your legal affairs in order.
That could mean creating an estate plan for the first time. Having a quality will, power of attorney and healthcare directive is important, and makes things much easier for your family if something happens to you in the coming year. It might also mean updating an old estate plan. We suggest that clients update their estate plan once every ten years or so. It may also be wise to update documents when circumstances change – for example a marriage, birth or death in the family, or if a loved one becomes disabled or contracts a serious illness.
It could also mean considering long term care planning. A lot of people try to delay unpleasant matters until after the holidays. Perhaps while your family was gathered, it became clear that an elderly parent might soon be unable to care for herself independently. If that’s the case, now would be a good time to consider options for long term care, such as home care aides, an assisted living facility or a nursing home.
If long term care may be on the horizon, then it’s also a good time to think about how to pay for it. With nursing home costs in New Jersey around $10,000 per month, long term care is exceedingly expensive. But with Medicaid and long term care planning, we can often help people pay for long term care without impoverishing family members.
Perhaps you have a child with disabilities who is growing up. At age 18, every child becomes an adult and has the legal authority to make decisions for himself, regardless of whether he’s disabled or lives with his parents. Banks, hospitals, schools, government agencies and other institutions have to listen to your child’s instructions instead of yours. If you want to continue caring for your child after age 18, it’s important to apply for guardianship.
Now is the perfect time to get your legal affairs in order, and FriedmanLaw is here to help. If you’re interested in knowing more about any of the above or other legal matters, call or email us.