Keeping your financial and legal affairs in order can be confusing and intimidating. Many people procrastinate simply because they don’t know where to begin, or whom to call for help. Independence Village is happy to offer you the resources you need to manage these important matters. We can provide you with access to a trusted team of professionals who have the experience and expertise you need to organize and prepare your finances and legal affairs. From document preparation to a simple consultation, we can make it as stress-free as possible. Having experts you trust on hand and right at home can make navigating these tasks much easier and provide you with peace of mind.
Making the decision to leave one’s home for a senior living community can be complicated and affect many other people. Moving is an extremely stressful life event at any time, additional fears and anxieties typically accompany this type of decision. Losing one’s independence can be a frightening prospect, and often there is a lack of awareness about one’s condition deteriorating. It is normal for a person to resist leaving home under these circumstances. Helping your loved one make the decision must be handled carefully, so he or she does not feel pushed into a decision. We’ve found that using a loving approach and anticipating resistance can make the conversation easier for everyone. The following are some of the most important things to consider for anyone contemplating this life change.
Discuss the pros and cons of staying at home versus moving to Independence village. What are the benefits of continuing to live at home? What are the drawbacks? What are their fears associated with staying at home? With leaving home? It’s important to draw these emotions and thoughts out into the open in order to address them and make practical decisions.
Express your concerns as a family member or friend. Have every person involved write and read a prewritten letter expressing their feelings, making sure to edit out negativity, such as judgment, blame, and anger.
Evaluate the options. Do not assume a position of authority and leave your loved one feeling powerless. Instead, be careful to work together and treat him or her with the respect and courtesy he or she deserves, and let them have a voice in the decision.
Anticipate objections. This is not an easy decision and your loved one will probably not be immediately agreeable. Be empathetic and understanding if he or she balks at the idea.
Discuss the financial aspects involved. Research and have answers ready about cost of living, paying bills, selling the house, and whatever other issues are specific to your loved one’s financial situation.
Communicate commitment. Be sure your loved one knows that he or she is not in this alone, and that everyone involved will be present and available during and after the entire process.
After you’ve had this conversation with your loved one, do your best to stay calm and give him or her some time and space. As with any life-changing decision, it takes a while to process all the information and allow emotions to subside. Revisit the topic in a few days and assess things, having further conversations if necessary.
We all know it’s important to have plans in place to cover things like insurance and personal finances. But life planning doesn’t end there. We each have to consider what may become of our finances, belongings, and even ourselves if we become incapacitated of when we pass away. As uncomfortable as these ideas are, they are critical to see through so that our loved ones are not left with unnecessary burdens they may be unprepared or ill-suited to handling. We are happy to assist and guide you through some of these matters, as they can be difficult and complicated. A good place to start is understanding the different types of legal documents every senior should have.
You may use a lawyer to write a will or use a template, which are available online. If you have any concerns above and beyond straightforward instructions, however, you should always consult with a lawyer to ensure that your wishes are carried out.
A living trust is very similar to a will, in that it is a document describing your wishes with regard to property and assets after death. However, a living trust can be easier for your dependents and heirs to benefit from as there is no requirement that your estate go through probate first. Your successor trustee, who acts the same as an executor of a will, may also carry out these same instructions if you become incapacitated and are unable to manage your own affairs.
Advance directives are documents spelling out your wishes with regard to your care in the event that you become unable to communicate them. They allow you to plan ahead if you become permanently unconscious, suffer advanced dementia, or become terminally ill. These documents remove the burden from your dependents of making difficult decisions that may cause them unnecessary grief. They also clearly spell out your wishes so there is no confusion or legal difficulties arising from the situation.
Naming someone power of attorney is a way to appoint someone of your choosing to speak and act on your behalf if you become unable to do so yourself. This power extends to legal matters, financial matters, and health care matters. You may choose anyone—a friend, a relative, a medical professional—and you may choose which powers you grant them, and you may choose more than one power of attorney. Durable Power of Attorney for Finances, for example, may not be the same person you assign as Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care.
A DNR is a do-not-resuscitate order, which advises doctors and other health care workers not to administer any life-saving measures should you suffer a catastrophic health event. Your doctor must write this document for you.
Independence Village is proud to partner with Joe Vitale, owner of American Retirement Solutions, as one of our top Senior Advocates. Mr. Vitale works with families to make the best choices for their loved ones when it comes to understanding Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefits (VA), irremovable trusts, Durable Power of Attorney (DPOAS), guardianship and qualifying for these benefits. Our Financial Concierge also networks for VA experts who are ready to assist our families with the application process.
414 Lake Nepessing Rd.
Lapeer, MI 48446
To take advantage of our Financial Concierge through Elderlife, please call: 1-855-228-4500
We also encourage people considering moving to a senior living community to understand the differences between a renting and buying a residence. Independence Village is a rental community (with the option of aging-in-place/continuum of care) that does not require an endowment fee (large upfront payment) when moving in. This is often a preferable arrangement for those who don’t wish to tie up funds in real estate.