An elder law lawyer can help you to prepare for a serious health emergency. No one wants to think about what could happen if they become sick or hurt. If you are badly injured, suffer a serious illness like a heart-attack or stroke, or develop a terminal illness, it is important that you are prepared for the implications of your infirmity.
Often, it is best to make plans well before the time when something actually happens to you so there is no confusion about what course of action is appropriate at the time when you are incapacitated. Here are five key steps you should take now so you are prepared in case a tragedy strikes.
Name a Guardian for Children and Pets
If something happens to you and you cannot care for your loved ones, it is important to make sure someone has been chosen to provide a safe, supportive living environment. You don’t want your kids to become pawns in a custody battle or your pets to end up in shelters, so select appropriate guardians. Don’t assume your partner or the children’s other parent will necessarily be able to care for your animals or kids because something could happen to both of you. You need a plan with a backup guardian and should talk with that person to let them know of the responsibility you’d like them to take on.
Create Advanced Directives for Healthcare
Advanced directives for healthcare allow you to specify circumstances under which you would prefer to accept or decline different kinds of care, such as CRP or the use of a respirator to breathe for you. You can also name a person who you would prefer to make medical decisions you have not addressed in advance, so you have the ultimate say in who makes your care decisions.
Make a Plan to Pay for Nursing Home Care
Neither a nursing home or long term care in your home will typically be paid for by Medicare, unless you need skilled nursing services for a limited duration. If you suffer an incapacitating illness or injury that makes it impossible for you to live independently or care for yourself, you’ll need to ensure there is a plan in place to get long term care costs covered. Medicaid pays for long term care, including in a nursing home, but you won’t qualify if you have too many assets. You can make a Medicaid plan in advance so your personal wealth does not count as disqualifying for purposes of getting Medicaid to cover a nursing home.
Make a Plan for the Management of Your Assets
Someone needs to take care of your money and property if you are incapacitated and unable to do so. If you do not make advanced plans for who will manage your wealth, your loved ones may need to pursue guardianship proceedings and the court may select a person you don’t have confidence in to manage your investments.
Create a Plan for Your Legacy
You need to make a plan for the distribution of your money and property after your death– and this plan needs to be made while you are still of sound mind and can make your wishes known. If you have not put a legacy plan in place and you become incapacitated, it will be too late for you to have control over what happens to your wealth when you pass away. Intestacy law will determine what your legacy is, and your family could end up fighting over your assets.
Getting Help from An Elder Law Lawyer
An elder law lawyer at Biddinger, Bitzer & Estelle can provide personalized one-on-one help with the process of planning ahead in case of a medical emergency. We serve residents of counties from St. Clair to Presque Isle along Michigan’s eastern shoreline, including the Thumb and northeast coast and we have the experience and compassion necessary to help Michiganders to make the right choices for their future. Give us a call at (989) 872-5601 or contact us online to find out more about how we can help.