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Denver Elder Law Blog

Guardianship process is taxing on the family; help is available

Sometimes the signs are subtle and easy to miss. In other instances, the change is almost immediate and there is no time for the Colorado resident to take action. The fact, however, is often the same. A loved one is no longer able to make sound decisions and guardianship decisions must be made.

Once a loved one is no longer able to make decisions, it is too late for the individual to appoint a power of attorney. In this case, it is necessary for the courts to appoint a guardian or conservator to act on behalf of the individual. Whenever possible, this role is typically assigned to a spouse or other family member. However, there are many instances when such an individual is not available or there is dissension regarding which family member should serve in this capacity.

Estate planning and how to save in the end

Spending money to save money may sound odd; however, in many cases, it is necessary for the Colorado resident to spend money in order to maximize his or her savings.  This is especially true when it comes to estate planning. On the surface, it may seem like a simple process, yet once one looks at the overall picture, there are too many things that must be taken into account for the average individual to tackle this process without guidance.

Many individuals discover that working with an attorney is essential in making sure that the proper documents are created. A will, advanced health care directive, power of attorney and trust are just a few of the items that may be necessary. While there are some do-it-yourself options, these can prove costly (emotionally and financially) if certain issues are overlooked and mistakes are made. It is always better to make sure it is done right by someone with expertise in that area. 

Estate planning is smart and practical for everyone

It is impossible to predict the future, but with help, it may be possible to put plans into place that can allow a person to have security and stability months or years down the road. One way to do this is through effective and thorough estate planning, which is important for everyone. Some may believe this is a step only for the wealthy, but it is practical and prudent for everyone in Colorado, regardless of income level, assets and personal wealth.

Each person and family can benefit from the protections provided by estate planning. One of the most basic and beneficial things a person can do with his or her estate plan is have a will in place. If a person does not have a will, state laws will determine who gets what and how a person's wealth is distributed. Simply having a well-drafted will can allow a person to decide what will happen to money, assets, pets and more after his or her death.

Estate planning and the family business

Successful family businesses do not just happen. The Colorado business person spends time planning, analyzing and working to make the business successful. In addition to wanting the business to be successful now, he or she often looks to the future and the legacy that will remain once he or she is gone. The best way to do this is through careful estate planning that includes plans for the family business.

One of the first things that the business owner will want to consider is whether the business should remain operational or should be sold prior to or upon the death of the owner. If the business is to continue, he or she will want to evaluate the interest and capabilities of those family members, or others, who will inherit it. Additionally, it may be necessary to consider if a portion of the business should be left to a family member not interested in actively participating in the business.

3 forms of elder financial abuse

As people get older, they tend to become more vulnerable to abuse. The elderly often need more help with daily tasks and responsibilities, and those who are in a position to help are also in a position to abuse. It is sadly true that this potential sometimes comes to fruition. One of the most common forms of elder abuse is financial manipulation, and it is not always easy to spot when it is happening.

Caretakers and family members who have privileged access to an elderly person's finances may try to take advantage of this for their own benefit. This dynamic can be dangerous and leave the victim financially devastated. It is important to watch out for the following examples of financial abuse:

Myths to dispel concerning estate planning

A big reason why many people make mistakes in their estate plans is due to societal misconceptions. Numerous myths persist. One huge myth that causes problems is the belief that people should wait until later in life to create an estate plan.

The truth of the matter is that every adult needs an estate plan. You need a plan to protect your assets and your family - and the sooner you create one, the better.

Statistics indicate need for Medicaid planning

Numbers often give a clear picture of what one can expect. Statistics regarding what will happen as the Colorado resident ages tell a story that can significantly affect one's financial future. These statistics suggest that the individual should consider the need for long-term care and possible Medicaid planning as a part of planning for his or her financial future.

Research shows that over 50 percent of individuals over the age of 65 will need long-term care at some point in their lives. Additionally, the duration of this care typically exceeds two years for women and one year for men. Furthermore, it is estimated that more than 10 percent of the population will require long-term care in excess of five years. This can prove to be an expensive necessity for the average Colorado family.

Indispensable Caregiver Apps

Imagine a resource that can suggest simple adjustments around your home that will help someone with dementia live at home longer or put an elder at ease with songs from their youth. Then imagine fitting it in your hand. Here are a few of the apps that make life easier for everyone.

Medicare pay-change plan reduces paperwork. What could go wrong?

Paperwork. Is there anyone who relishes it? We doubt it. But most would agree that it is an unavoidable facet of government. Documentation is considered a rule by law mainstay because creating a paper trail enhances accountability, and at the same time, self-protection for decision makers.

Still, a goal to reduce paperwork is laudable, and one new proposal for doing so comes from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The burdens of care can be addressed in an estate plan

There are many things someone in Colorado may plan for. A longed-for vacation, a child's education and retirement are just a few things for which it takes time to build an adequate savings. Starting early can reduce the stress and allow one to truly enjoy these monumental moments. However, there are other things to plan for that may not be as pleasant as the vacation of a lifetime. Providing for the burdens of care is certainly not so easy to think about.

When planning for retirement, many people expect it will be a time of leisure and recreation. Few want to imagine that there may come a time when their health or circumstances will require them to need full-time care. If they are unprepared for the potential that an illness or accident will leave them incapacitated, they may find themselves at the mercy of courts and others who will make decisions they may not have wanted.

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