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Helping Seniors with Estate Planning

By Jeff Hill, 9:00 am on October 26, 2015

Though arranging estate plans can be stressful, getting organized ahead of time can help alleviate that stress. If your senior loved one needs help with estate planning, Phoenix elder care experts suggest these tips and strategies to assist him or her and make the process easier on everyone involved.

Gather Financial Information

You will need information regarding your loved one’s current finances, debts, assets, pension funds, retirement, and more. The more complex his or her financial life, the more paperwork and research you may need to collect and manage. This is often the most difficult part of the planning process.

Use Books on Estate Planning

If your loved one is able to help with the process, he or she may benefit from reading books on estate planning directed toward the financial nonprofessional or layperson. These include resources from the “For Dummies” book series and other simplified texts. If your loved one is good with computers, resources are also readily available online.

Help Articulate Goals

Your loved one may already know what he or she wants to happen to the estate. If so, you should do your best to ensure these wishes become reality by helping turn them into a cohesive and properly formulated plan. This may require many conversations and several plan drafts, but the results will likely be worth the effort.

Consider Hiring a Financial Adviser

For seniors with complex finances or abundant assets, it may be worthwhile to consult a professional financial adviser or planner. This person will be well versed in state and local tax laws and can translate these complexities into something that makes sense to you and your loved one.

Update the Plan as Needed

Once you have created an estate plan and have it signed and notarized, you may not be entirely finished. Your loved one may wish to periodically review the plan or make alterations. This should be an expected component of estate planning, regardless of how little or how much he or she has in the estate.

Helping your loved one get his or her affairs in order can be a challenge. If you are also his or her primary caregiver, you may need to time to yourself to de-stress and relax. Consider Phoenix respite care for those times you need a brief break from caregiving. At Home Care Assistance, our caregivers are available 24/7 to help your loved one with a wide array of daily tasks, including cooking, cleaning, bathing, and grooming. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our qualified Care Managers at 602.388.1085 to schedule a free in-home consultation.