Legal Documents – Are you Ready?

There are so many things to do and factors to consider when a senior decides to move into a community, or needs care. From clearing a home and selling it or making it a safe place to age, to choosing the right senior community or caregiver. Your hands will be full. One thing that can make it all easier is having legal documents in place before there is a need. I’m not just talking about a Will, Power of Attorney, but also, a document outlining your wishes. Sometimes this is an easier approach than talking about plans.

Most people think they have to go to a lawyer to draw up the legal documents they need, but there are other options online now. Law Depot is one site that offers free legal documents, forms and contracts. There are also many examples online to help you make decisions and figure out how to draw it up.

There are also sites and associations like 5 Wishes, dedicated to communicating your preference for care & end of life. These are done in everyday language to help the process flow.

When my husband & I went to a lawyer to have all of my documents drawn up (yes, we did it the old expensive way), she asked so many questions I hadn’t thought of. Who should do what, when & how. This gets more detailed the more stuff you have to deal with (and the more relative there are). As an example, my husband has classic cars, so who has the know-how & time to sell them at a fair price? Many of the things we wanted done aren’t really covered in a Will, so she told us to write out our wishes, and give a copy to everyone mentioned.  This way everyone knows their part.

Make sure your family and those close to you know how and where you want to age. Personally, I look forward to moving into one of the beautiful senior communities I have visited and be surrounded by activities and amenities. I have even picked the Memory Care community I want to go to if I ever need it, and I’ve been sure to tell a lot of people, as I won’t remember by then : )  Things change, so remember to review and update your documents ever 2-5 years.

Do yourself and your family a favor and get your documents in order now. You are never too young. Things happen every day! Don’t make a difficult time even harder on your loved ones.