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Olympia Estate Planning Blog

How do I know when or if it is time for my elder loved one to go to a residential care facility?

Growing older is something that inevitably happens to everyone. While you may not want to consider that your parent can no longer care for himself or herself, and may need to move into a care facility, often it is the best choice to make. Not every elderly adult will require residential care, but if you recognize certain signs, that may be the best option for your loved one.

According to A Place for Mom, one of the top reasons for making the decision to put someone in a residential care facility is their own safety. If your parent is no longer safe living on their own, then moving him or her to a residential facility could be the right thing for everyone. This can ensure your loved one stays safe and reduce your worries.

Beware of estate planning scams targeting seniors

It's sad that some of the most common scam victims are senior citizens. You may have seen stories about these scams in the news and grew concerned for your parent or grandparent. Scammers target older adults because of their perceived saved income.

In 2018, Washington's attorney general had a judge place an injunction on a local estate planning company for its lifetime estate planning service. The company sold these packages at free workshops to seniors who didn't understand what they purchased, then took their retirement savings to convert them to annuities without their knowledge. This injunction stopped the company from selling their estate planning services.

Do I need both a living will and a health care power of attorney?

A living will and a durable power of attorney for health care are two types of advance directives. They are both legal documents which you can use to help make your wishes for medical care known in the event you become unable to express them yourself. Because of the similarities, people sometimes wonder why they might need both documents in their estate plan.

The Importance of Maintaining Your Estate Plan

Perhaps you created an estate plan years ago. Since then, your family has grown by marriages and births, you sold off a family business, and you acquired new property in a vacation home. Now, you need to update your estate plan due to your changing circumstances.

Estate plans in Washington can be easily updated. You want to ensure that the right beneficiaries are receiving your assets. You also want to ensure that you have given authority to only the most responsible individuals to manage your funds if you become incapacitated. Without updating your estate plan, you could accidentally forget to assign specific assets to new family members, or you could give power of attorney to an individual that may now prove unfit for the role. When you experience small or large life changes, it is crucial that you maintain and update your estate plan.