If there is one unavoidable consequence of life and relationships, it is that our loved ones may fall ill at some point, whether it be a parent, grandparent, child, aunt or uncle. Sometimes it could be a tragic accident or disease that affects them, and other times it is simply part of the aging process. Nobody wants to put that idea into their minds and discuss a plan of action, until it is too late, of course. It is at that moment that you will be pushed to your physical and emotional limits.
When a family member becomes ill, many of us feel obligated to care for that family member. For instance, many people decide to take in and care for sick loved ones. In other situations, visitation, monitoring and supervisions becomes the norm. On top of cooking, doing laundry, going to work, getting the children on the bus on time and doing housework, caring for an ill family member is quite the burden to bear (and if it involves one of your elderly parents, you may have the well parent to care for, as well). You don’t have to do this alone.
As an Elder Law attorney, I face this type of situation on a daily basis.Through my personal and professional experiences, I know just how painful and stressful it is to watch a loved one deteriorate right before your eyes. But I also know how deteriorating it can be on your life. I have witnessed countless situations where caregivers have fallen ill themselves, marriages have failed, and careers have been destroyed, often being replaced with anxiety and depression. The reality is that while your heart is in the right place, there simply cannot be multiple balls in the air at once. Working with an Elder Law Attorney introduces you to resources that can alleviate the burdens you are facing so that you don’t have to give up your life. We have so many resources at our disposal ranging from elder law and estate planning techniques to chefs who can prepare meals for you.
Once you begin working with us to provide stability in your role as a caregiver, the next step is to ensure that your affairs are in order. One of the most disheartening experiences is where a caregiver falls ill or becomes incapacitated and there is no plan in place to not only deal with the affairs of the caregiver but also to replace the caregiver’s role. The tools we invoke, such as the power of attorney and statutory gift rider and health care proxy, are essential in making sure there is continuity if you can no longer handle your affairs or the affairs of someone else. Proper planning will ensure that those who need care receive it, save assets that would otherwise be paid towards healthcare costs and most importantly, give you and your family members a little peace of mind. Without proper planning, we may have to resort to the Courts in order to care for your loved ones.
Remember, it is never too early to start planning. Likewise, it is never too late. However, the longer you wait, the less options we may have and the more stressful it will be. Moreover, lack of planning will only delay access to those who can help reduce your stress and return your life to some sense of normalcy. Stop by our office in Rye or Yorktown Heights, NY or call us at (914) 925-1010 or (914) 245-2440 for a consultation and find out the ways that I can help you and your loved ones with healthcare and estate planning. The load of having the weight of the world on your shoulders is always lighter when spread among more shoulders!