While estate planning has always played a fundamental role in providing for one’s retirement and assisted living and/or nursing home care. These financial planning objectives are often also supplemented by concerns about taking care of family members. Some of the family issues that may be part of an estate plan include the following:
• Providing for a surviving spouse
• Financing children’s education
• Planning for the elder care expenses of aging parents
• Arranging resources for assisted living and nursing home care for a spouse or parent
The traditional duel objectives of providing for one’s future financial and health care while creating safeguards that protect family members have become much more difficult with the increasing demands on what has been referred to as the “the sandwich generation.” This term refers to those who are providing financial support and care for both a younger and older generation.
New data from Pew Research organization reports that close to fifteen percent of Americans have assumed financial responsibility for the care and support of their spouse, kids, and parents. AARP indicates that approximately 66 million people in the U.S. are coping with the time, stress, and financial obligation of juggling these competing family financial obligations.
If a parent has not engaged in sufficient financial planning for elder care, the majority of people are unable to shoulder the financial responsibilities of paying for their kids’ college education while trying to determine how to facilitate in-home caregivers, assisted living, or nursing home care for parents.
There are many types of documents that may be part of an estate planning strategy that addresses both the needs of the individual and loved ones, including the following:
• Will or Living Trust Agreement
• Health Care Power of Attorney
• Financial Power of Attorney
• Advance Health Care Directive
• Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) Authorization
While some are tempted to purchase computer programs or to seek assistance from a typing service in preparing these types of documents, estate planning involves a lot more than just drafting these types of estate planning instruments. An overall estate planning strategy typically includes issues like asset protection, tax implications, legacy succession planning, and other considerations. An experienced Estate Planning Attorney in New Mexico can help develop a comprehensive strategy that takes into account all of these considerations and more.
The above information is designed solely to illustrate general principles of law, and does not constitute a specific legal opinion on individual cases. We suggest that you contact experienced legal counsel for a specific opinion tailored to your individual circumstances.
If you have questions or concerns about any aspect of estate planning, our New Mexico Estate Planning Attorneys at Life Leaf Legal Group, PC offer a free consultation in our centrally located offices in Santa Fe and Albuquerque so that we can discuss your specific situation. Call us today to schedule your free consultation at (505) 856-3591 to learn about your rights and options.