Palm Springs Law Blog

Friday, February 17, 2023

Properly Planning Your Aging Parents’ Care

As your parents get older, you may begin to worry about who will care for them in their final years. You likely have your own responsibilities and can’t afford to be a full-time caregiver. But that doesn’t mean that you want them to suffer as old age makes it increasingly difficult for them to take care of themselves.

With any luck, your parents have a plan for self-care and you won’t need to take any action. But if that isn’t the case, you can make sure that they spend their final years comfortably if you plan properly.

Consult with an Estate Attorney

Estate lawyers have experience creating and implementing care plans for aging individuals, and they can answer all of your questions about the process. They may even answer important questions you never thought to ask, ensuring that you don’t accidentally forget something critical.

When you create a care plan for your parents, you should focus on solutions that address the following issues.


Where will your parents live as they get older? If they intend to live where they currently live, the plan needs to ensure that they can afford rent or a mortgage and property taxes, depending on their circumstances. Furthermore, you should plan who will perform and pay for home maintenance.

If your parents are moving into a retirement community, finances need to be arranged to pay for that. Since many retirement homes effectively claim all the assets of residents, your parents may want to give away some assets before they move in.

Finally, if your parents move in with you or other family members, the care plan should arrange for them to assist with costs while still giving them control of their own money.

Power of Attorney

Hopefully, your parents are of sound mind. However, elderly people sometimes suffer from mental decline. If that mental decline is bad enough, your parents may no longer be capable of making health or financial decisions.

If that’s the case, you should arrange for a responsible party to assume power of attorney for your parents. The person should be someone who has the time to devote to this endeavor and who also cares about the welfare of your parents.

Depending on how much time this role takes, you may need to arrange for this individual to get paid for their efforts. Usually, this should come from assets that belong to your parents.

End of Life

Sadly, everybody dies eventually. While it isn’t something you want to think about, any care plan should take this eventuality into account.

Make sure that your parents’ wills are up to date. And if their wills need to be changed, make sure that happens while they are of sound mind.

Also, ask your parents to make medical directives so that their desires are respected if they become incapacitated. It is a tough conversation but preferable to having to make these kinds of decisions without the input of your parents.

Include Your Parents in the Discussion

Preferably, your parents and you will make these decisions together. Any care plan is best when all parties agree.

If your parents refuse to cooperate despite being unable to care for themselves, you can go to court to gain guardianship. This scenario is a last resort, as it could create unpleasant feelings between you and your parents.

Regardless of whether your parents are cooperating or fighting the process, you can’t protect your loved ones without the help of an experienced estate attorney like the ones at the law firm of Heritage Legal, PC in Palm Springs, CA. Get in touch with us today.

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