Take the time to assess the loved one you are visiting. Are they properly dressed and groomed? Are they doing their laundry and keeping the house clean? As individuals age, it can become difficult to do tasks such as cleaning and laundry due to the amount of physical exertion necessary. Talk to your loved ones to see if they are able to continue to do these tasks on their own. If they need assistance, talk to them about what help they need and are willing to accept, as well as ways to provide such assistance.
If you visit the home of an aging loved one, check the surroundings. Look to see if there is nutritious food in the home. A lack of food or food that is past its expiration date can be a sign that a loved one needs some assistance. Talk to your loved ones to see if they are able to go to the grocery store on a regular basis or if they would like assistance in setting up a grocery delivery system.
You can also check to see that the mail is being properly taken care of. Your loved one should be going through their mail, discarding junk, and paying bills on a regular basis. If someone is not doing this, it could be a sign that they need some help. If you notice this behavior, discuss together why the issue exists and ways to assist. Possible solutions are to use automatic bill pay or appoint an attorney in fact or trustee to manage the finances.
A final recommendation is to ask your loved ones if they have an estate plan and, if so, where it is kept. Hopefully, your aging loved one has already taken the time to create an estate plan. If not, talk to them about the importance of planning – how it allows the individual to decide how and when decisions are made on their behalf and ensures their estate is distributed how, when and to whom they want. If you have a loved one who needs to create an estate plan or review an existing estate plan, please contact our office for a free consultation by calling 888.222.1328.
Contributed by MH Scottsdale and Mesa Estate Planning Attorney and Partner Katherine A. O'Connell
What the Attorneys of Morris Hall Can Do For You:
The attorneys at Morris Hall have 100’s of years of combined experience ensuring that families’ assets are protected from probate, unnecessary taxes, creditors, ex-spouses and Medicaid spend-down. The attorneys also help those in Arizona and New Mexico to apply for and receive Medicaid assistance and Veterans Benefits. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead. Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.