What is the Difference between Guardianship and a Power of Attorney?

Power of Attorney vs Guardianship for seniorsBoth a power of attorney and guardianship are tools to assist someone who is unable to make financial or medical decisions for him or herself by appointing an agent or guardian to act in their stead. However, these tools differ in their responsibilities and the freedom and control they give to the elder or person with special needs.

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Present and Future Social Security Outlooks for Older Americans

Social Security Word CloudYou are now in your late 50’s and getting closer to retirement.  As you were working, discussions about Social Security benefits have been prevalent in the mouths of the government, the media, family and friends.

Everyone relies on Social Security, but it is especially important to those that are older.  Recently, older Americans have been feeling the pressure from wages not increasing and pensions becoming smaller and smaller.  This pressure is only likely to grow in the future.  How do you make sure that your plans for the future will be viable?

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Do You Have A Plan For Your Future?

iStock_000011860918SmallDespite concerns about finances and health, most people look forward to retirement. The idea is that people will have more time for personal interests since they no longer have to work or care for small children.

Of course, things aren’t always ideal.  A serious illness, dementia, or even death can mean that retirement won’t be so golden.  While many health issues can’t be prevented, they can be planned for, especially since a stroke, complications from diabetes or osteoporosis can lead to long-term care situations, such as assisted living or nursing home placement.

How do you plan for a future that may include chronic health issues when you aren’t sure what the future may hold for you?  These things can help:

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Health Care Power of Attorney: Advice for Health Care Decision Makers

 

A health care power of attorney is an essential part of your estate plan.

A health care power of attorney is an essential part of your estate plan.

As the agent of a Health Care Power of Attorney, you are given the authority to make health care decisions for the grantor when he or she is unable to do so. The authority to make health care decisions on behalf of a loved one can be mentally and emotionally difficult. A health care agent may be required to make critical health care decisions including choosing medical treatments and end-of-life wishes and care. To help individuals serve as the agent for a Health Care Power of Attorney, we have outlined some helpful tips below.

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5 Ways to Help Your Loved One Avoid Loneliness

Lonely old man staring out of a windowLoneliness has become a common hardship for seniors who live alone or who do not have the ability to leave their homes on a regular basis. With an increasing number of seniors living alone, isolation has become a growing concern for caregivers and loved ones. Social isolation can be dangerous for seniors, negatively impacting their mental and physical health, according to a Place for Mom. However, loneliness can be diminished, allowing seniors to live a more fulfilling and happy life.

Here are 5 ways to help your elderly loved one avoid feeling lonely.

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When Best Laid Plans Go Astray

When most people plan for their senior years, they mostly think about a will that specifies how their assets will be distributed upon their death.

But there are other things to think about as well, such as what will happen if you have a stroke, develop a serious illness or become incapacitated?

What should you or your loved ones have in place in those circumstances?

It is extremely important to consider and plan for serious illness, not just death. While we are living longer, that doesn’t always mean we are living healthier. Stroke, complications from diabetes or osteoporosis can lead to nursing home placement. A legal plan must be established with the help of an elder law attorney when a person is healthy so that a difficult situation doesn’t become more difficult when illness or incapacitation occur.

Here are some suggestions for how you can plan ahead for serious illness:

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Is a Joint Bank Account Right for You?

Many people, as they get older, choose to have a joint bank account with a family member, such as a son or daughter.

The idea behind this is to have one less thing to worry about since a joint account is an easy way for someone else to have access to funds for day to day expenses. While this sounds great in principle, there are pitfalls to having a joint bank account:

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What is Undue Influence and How an Elder Law Attorney Can Help

When a person has diminished mental capacity, is ill or isolated, they become more vulnerable to those who might do them harm.

At times, people take advantage of those who are elderly or vulnerable for financial gain or control over assets. One form of exploitation is undue influence.

Undue influence is not typically considered a crime in and of itself, but acts as the means for committing a crime. It is commonly recognized by the misuse of one’s influence to substitute his or her own will for the will of another. The influencer takes advantage of his or her position of power over another person and the consequences can be very destructive.

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When is the Right Time to Talk to an Elder Law Attorney?

Preparation is a key component when planning for the future. Choices about where to live, long-term care and how to protect assets are common age-related decisions. One way to keep these choices from becoming overwhelming is to seek the advice and guidance of an elder law attorney.

Planning Ahead

While many people feel they don’t need the help of an elder law attorney, there are instances where the guidance and legal support of an attorney may become necessary.

Often, people disregard the benefits of consulting with an elder law attorney because they see it as an unnecessary cost, especially when they do not have any persistent health issues. However, legal and health issues can arise suddenly and without the correct preparation, elders can have a difficult time recovering and managing healthcare expenses.

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5 Things to Consider When Writing Your Will

Facing your own mortality is difficult, but don’t let the anxiety of what is to come stop you from planning for the future. The most basic part of your estate plan is a will that identifies your fiduciary or executor and what should be done with your assets after your death.

A thorough will can ensure that your assets are used and distributed to the correct people or organizations and reduce any legal and family strife.

Once you have decided to create a will, keep these five things in mind:

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