The possibility of losing our independence as we get older can be upsetting to think about. However, confronting this potential reality and considering what to do if it should happen can be one of the most valuable planning steps you can take for yourself and your family.
There are thousands of nursing home facilities in the United States. While many of them provide competent, compassionate care to elderly patients, they don't all do this. For a variety of reasons, from staffing problems to negligent management, some nursing home facilities provide an environment that increases the potential for elder abuse.
The idea of a person making financial decisions on someone else's behalf can seem straightforward. And in the context of estate planning or long-term care planning, people often oversimplify fiduciary duties.
Every year, elderly Americans are victims of financial abuse and fraud. This mistreatment comes from international scammers, unscrupulous businesses here in the U.S. and even the care providers and loved ones closest to the victim.
Experts say that the life expectancy of the average person is rising, with many saying that people will soon regularly live to be 100 years old. This means that many families will need to be prepared for the financial demands of longer lives. Unfortunately, senior citizens in Colorado often fall prey to both strangers and relatives who want to financially exploit them, which can seriously damage their assets. There are ways for people to protect themselves, and that includes comprehensive financial planning.
Older adults face many difficulties that younger people do not. For some, the physical and mental decline that can come with old age may make it difficult to enjoy activities that they did previously. For other adults, those declines can be dangerous to their well-being. Older people in Colorado and across the country are often targeted by scammers hoping to make money off of those who may not fully understand how best to protect themselves. However, a recent study found that financial elder abuse is more likely to be perpetrated by people that a senior citizen knows, including members of the senior's own family.
Growing older is a fact of life. Whether you live here in Colorado or elsewhere, as you age, you could become a target for someone who believes you are vulnerable. One form of abuse many older people suffer is financial abuse. Elder law is designed to help protect you from these types of people.
Approaching the latter part of one's life is not a particularly pleasant thing to consider, but it is important to determine certain aspects in advance. This can include how assets will be left to beneficiaries under a will, or how one wants his or her end of life medical care managed with durable powers of attorney. One point many people here in Colorado and around the country fail to think of is how to pay for long-term care. Allocating certain finances to cover the cost of a nursing home or other facility is an essential part of life care planning.
The Colorado couple did their homework, decided that an A/B trust was the appropriate option for their circumstances and the plan was put in place. But, then life happened. One of the spouses died and the surviving spouse wants to alter beneficiaries of the trust. Due to the nature of this type of trust, there are limits as to what can be done; the individual will want to work closely with an elder law attorney to determine the appropriate course of action.
Raising a family and planning for its future can be a daunting task even in the best of circumstances. But for those Colorado families faced with the additional challenge of a special needs family member, this task is often magnified. In this case, special needs planning is a critical component of estate planning for the family's future.