Are you looking for the perfect gift for your loved ones? A gift that shows how much you care for them and want only the best for them? Did you know that during this December one of the best gifts you can give is that of your time? Although it seems like a simple gift, it is one of the most valuable. While you spend this time with your parents and grandparents, you can take the time to learn how they are doing and talk to them about long-term planning.

For most families, long-term planning is a subject that is mostly avoided. However, it is a subject of critical importance. By discussing long-term care early, before a crisis occurs, your aging loved ones will be able to share what they want to happen if they become incapacitated. In addition, the family will have peace of mind from being able to work with an experienced elder law attorney to ensure a lifetime of savings is protected from nursing home bills.

Now that you know you need to have the conversation about long-term care, how do you begin? We find most of our clients have questions and we understand because long-term planning can be complicated. We want to share an end of the year long-term care planning checklist that you may use when talking to your loved ones about long-term care planning over the holidays, or anytime throughout the year.

• Do your loved ones live at their home?
• Are there mobility issues within the home?
• Is the home equipped to age in place?
• Do they have a life alert or alarm system in place to help them should they fall?
• Have there been changes to doctors or medications?
• Are their doctors still covered by their insurance?
• Are there new health care concerns that have arisen over the past year?
• Have there been deaths of reliable caregivers or within the local support system?
• How is their mental health?
• How collaborative is the family dynamic?
• Is their Wisconsin estate plan up to date?
• Are they able to live comfortably off their monthly income?
• Do they have long-term care insurance?
• How long could they afford to pay for a nursing home bill out of pocket?
• Have they worked with an experienced Wisconsin elder law attorney to create a plan for long-term care?

We know that long-term planning can be a difficult conversation to have, but it is critical. Often our aging loved ones face uncertainty about the future, this planning can help alleviate that. When you, your parents or loved ones plan for their long-term care, the entire family can benefit from the peace of mind that comes with that.

Our office can help guide a family through long-term care planning for aging parents and loved ones. Please contact our office today to schedule a meeting with attorney Alan Hougum.