Ten Tips When A Relative's Health Is Failing

10 Tips when a relative's health is failing.

  1. Encourage the relatives to get their legal affairs in order.
  2. Review the income and expenses and reapportion the budget accordingly.
  3. Consider a power of attorney to designate someone who can pay medical bills and handle financial affairs. If a person becomes incapacitated, it is too late to obtain a power of attorney. At that point a guardianship, a much more expensive procedure, may be the only recourse.
  4. Discuss the relative's long term wishes. Has the person named a health care surrogate who can make health care decisions if the relative is no longer able to do so? Have they named a preneed guardian?
  5. Check the insurance coverage. Is there long term care insurance? If the relative doesn't have it or can't get it, how will the relative pay for long term care, if needed?
  6. Have a family discussion to consider the relative's future. Can a family member provide care for the relative on a long term basis? Can they share the time or expenses?
  7. Consider the options available outside the family. What options are available for long term care? Can you afford a sitter or health care aide to stay with the relative in their home? Are there nursing homes available that offer the quality of care you want at a price you can afford? Will you have to rely on Medicaid? Is hospice available?
  8. Consider a guardianship as the best solution if there are no family members who can provide assistance. A professional guardian is trained to know what health care options are available and see to it that the care is properly provided. It may be expensive, but it may be the best choice.
  9. Consider getting a prepaid funeral. It will not only eliminate a pending issue and allow the relative to participate in the decisions, but it may help to qualify the relative for Medicaid.
  10. Consider selling the home or investigating a reverse mortgage to provide additional funds. Both have risks and involve expenses, but they may best the best alternative.

As we approach the Christmas Holiday Season are you wondering what to get the person who has everything? Consider getting them a Will so they can decide who gets it all. For $60 we can give you a gift certificate that can be used to pay for a simple will for a Florida resident. For one reason or another most people don't get around to having their will prepared, even though they agree it is a good idea. Call us today and you can do your relative or friend a favor. We can also provide gift certificates for powers of attorney, living wills, health care surrogates, preneed guardian designations or packages that combine several of these together.

I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving,

Jay W. Moreland