Arranging a long-term care program for aging relatives can be an arduous process for many families. Whether working with a CPA or another professional, keep these things in mind as you make plans

Some family members may prefer to step up and care for an aging parent themselves. Consider that they understand what this entails. Although a family member can manage care themselves now, this does not mean that he or she will always be able to manage in-home care. Plan for instability in a parent’s condition.

Make sure you have all necessary documents. Durable power of attorney, living will, will, and other documents need to be copied and stored in a safe place. In addition, the file should be updated every time a change is made. To avoid problems, families should make sure they (and any professionals working with the family) have the updated copies of these documents.

If you’re working with a CPA, he or she can provide another layer of protection against financial abuse. It’s always useful to have another set of eyes on the finances of a relative who needs some assistance in managing his or her affairs. Liquidation, refinancing, or the creation of joint accounts will be overseen by a professional, leaving the family with one less concern.

Budget for all the associated expenses. For in-home care, budget for Christmas bonuses. Assisted living or nursing home costs may increase over the length of a loved one’s stay. Remember that any hospital trips will also add to your costs.

Coordinate bill paying. Keeping up with the many bills can be surprisingly difficult. Organization is key, particularly when there are many relatives and service providers involved.

Eldercare services can improve the quality of life for aging individuals and their families. Begin planning early, and get help when needed.

This posting is intended to provide generalized information that is appropriate in certain situations. It is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient, for the purpose of avoiding federal tax penalties that may be imposed on any taxpayer. The contents of this posting should not be acted upon without specific professional guidance. Please call us if you have questions, (410) 893-9100.

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