Senior care planning when you are divorced and without children is becoming a common concern in the United States as more people choose not to have families. According to 2010 census data nearly 20 percent of women age 40 to 44 had not had children compared to 10 percent in 1980. Children are commonly called upon to assist their aging parents but people without children have to explore other options regarding their senior care.
What Is Senior Care Planning?
Elder law attorneys recommend that people without children set up health care directives early in life, as part of their senior care planning, that permits someone who can review your medical records and handle medical decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. Elder law attorneys also advise that people set up power of attorney with someone to manage finances. The reasons for setting up this recommendation is due to the high cost of senior care. Choosing the type of senior care planning services you desire in the future should be arranged with an elder care attorney. If you want to stay at home for as long as possible and receive skilled nursing in the home or you want 24/7 senior care at a nursing home, these directives must be laid out legally. Without these documents you risk putting more stress on the people trying to assist you at your time of need. Senior care planning documents outline specific medical preferences and financial planning. An elder law attorney helps ensure your wishes are followed even when you cannot express them due to illness or incapacitation. When a solid senior care plan is in place you can avoid probate, a lengthy and costly process through the court system.
Senior Care Planning and Long-Term Senior Care Insurance
Childless people should purchase long-term senior care insurance in their early years to offset the costs associated with long-term care. Another important aspect of senior care planning is setting up a will or trust that designates how assets are distributed after death to ensure they do not go to relatives they barely know or dislike. Early preparation bypasses the need to notify relative of a trust, or give them a forum to contest a will.
Unmarried gay or lesbian couples who do not have children need to set up senior care documents to ensure that the partner of an incapacitated person has a say in senior care decisions. And the partner of a deceased person may be barred from staying in the couple’s home and restricted access to retirement funds and other benefits married couples would have with the proper estate and senior care planning in place.