by Julie Randolph, Care Coordinator
Estate planning provides the ability to make your end-of-life wishes known. Planning ahead allows you to designate the person who will carry out your wishes to distribute your assets, the beneficiaries of your assets, and how you would like to be cared for in your last days.
- Can provide significant peace of mind.
- Directs your hard-earned money to intended beneficiaries.
- Prevents your money from going through law and court systems.
- Provides an avenue to identify and record assets such as life insurance policies and safety deposit boxes to prevent the state from receiving property unclaimed simply because heirs were unaware of their existence.
Creating a revocable trust provides a place to gather all your assets, such as your home, other properties, retirement savings, and checking accounts.
Designating a power of attorney and succeeding trustee places the person of your choosing in the position of executing your wishes.
Completing an Advanced Medical Directive clarifies how you would like medical professionals to respond to certain end of life scenarios. We often hear “well my family knows I never want to be placed on a machine”. The words “family” and “machine” can carry broad connotations. Machines come in many forms. A designated spokesperson brings clarity and efficiency. Specific instructions will relieve your family of an otherwise heart-wrenching experience. Our American medical culture may default to extreme life extending measures unless otherwise instructed, in writing.
Care Coordinators initiate discussions to prompt clients to take these steps as a gift of peace of mind for themselves and for their heirs. Senior Services provides education and resources to promote the accomplishment of these very important tasks. Visit our website at SeniorServicesMidland.org and click on the “Help for Caregivers” page to download a copy of Keeping it Together, an advance planning program guide designed to assist caregivers in organizing their loved ones’ paperwork. MyMichigan Health also offers free assistance with completing your Advance Medical Directive. We hope this message will encourage and motivate you to consider advanced care planning. Call Senior Services at 989-633-3700 if you have questions.