When you begin creating an estate plan your thoughts often turn towards others, to thinking about what you can do to help your family. It isn’t uncommon for many people creating an estate plan to start thinking about what they might do to help their elderly parents. Even if your parents are not in need of elder care right now, you may want to consider being ready to assist if and when the time comes.
Knowing when to provide care and how much to give is not always easy to do. If your parents are getting older you may want to ask them to schedule a geriatric assessment with a geriatric care specialist. These assessments are different than your average physical and will focus on determining what your parent’s current abilities are and where they may need assistance. If you have specific concerns about your parents you may want to accompany them to the assessment and ask the doctor about any issues you have noticed.
Some elderly parents only need assistance with simple tasks, such as remembering to pay all their bills on time. In such a situation you might benefit from having your parent complete a limited power of attorney that grants you or another close family member the ability to take care of this task on their behalf. The simplest power of attorney allows you to handle one or more simple tasks, while broader powers give you much wider authority to act on behalf of your parents.