At a point in time, those who have given us care suddenly require care in turn due to physical or mental limitations or sudden illness. When this occurs, assess your loved one’s situation and think about the type of care and support they need.
The AARP Caregiving Resource Center provides an assessment checklist to explore the different areas of your loved one’s life in order to get a full picture.
As our parents age, they become financially and physically vulnerable, it’s very important to make them aware of frauds and scams perpetrated by criminals who prey on the elderly. There may be family members or friends who try to take advantage of your loved one’s diminished capacity. Be on the lookout for these signs of elder financial abuse:
To report suspected abuse, visit the following websites:
Estate planning allows you, not the courts, to make important decisions about your assets in the event you are incapacitated or deceased. Estate plans can be complicated, and it is usually best to seek the services of an attorney who specializes in estate planning when you’re ready to draw up a will, living will, trust and powers of attorney.
When major changes occur in your life, like marriage, divorce, birth of children or grandchildren, retirement or the death of a spouse, it is important to review and revise your estate plan as appropriate.
To ensure your wishes are properly fulfilled, a comprehensive estate plan should include:
Most married couples own property or accounts jointly, which allows everything to pass to the surviving spouse. Jointly-held assets are not controlled by wills or trusts and are not subject to probate proceedings.
Beneficiary designations let you name the individual(s) you want to receive your assets in a particular account on your death. The most common examples include life insurance policies, beneficiary deeds, 401(k) plans and Individual Retirement Accounts.
Coping with the loss of a loved one can be emotional and painful. Adding the burden of dealing with financial matters can make a difficult time even more stressful. That’s why we prepared a Deceased Account Resource and Information Guide to provide important information and direct you to the appropriate local agencies should you require assistance. For information on Social Security survivor benefits visit SocialSecurity.gov.
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For specific tax advice please contact a qualified tax professional.