For most people, legal and financial matters are overly complex and not particularly riveting (we hear you). All too often, though, entire families are caught off guard when a loved one suddenly falls ill, has an accident or develops noticeable cognitive problems.
Understandably, their wellbeing is the number one priority, not determining whether they have named a health care proxy, composed a living will or put aside money for long-term care or a funeral. The vast majority would rather not discuss sensitive issues like money or end-of-life care with their loved ones. In the rare instance when a caregiver knows exactly what their parent or significant other wants, the proper legal and financial documentation must already be in place for them to see these wishes through. Without it, they have no authority to rule on these matters or even gain access to relevant information.
Making sure your family members have covered all of their bases takes careful planning and consideration. Although many people are not keen on paying attorney fees, obtaining a few basic documents, like medical and financial powers of attorney, a will, and an advance directive, in a timely manner can help you avoid major headaches down the road. The same principles apply to financial preparedness. The earlier you and your family save and plan for the unknown, the more security you will be able to enjoy. Each situation is different, but preparing for the worst and hoping for the best is the recommended approach for these intricate matters.