If you have lived in your home for decades but have now made the tough decision to move to a care facility, you will have plenty of things on your mind. But along with getting your belongings to your new residence, there are also numerous legal details you should have in place before you move. To make sure no unpleasant legal surprises come your way later on, here are four things you should always take care of beforehand.
1- Asset Protection
To make sure you are able to protect the value of your estate and avoid having the costs of living at a care facility leave you with next to nothing financially, protect your assets by establishing an irrevocable trust. Managed by a trustee of your choosing, this type of trust will transfer ownership of your cash to the trust, meaning it will legally no longer be part of your estate. Though this may sound scary, the good news is that you will still be able to work with your trustee to have a say in how your money is handled.
2- Powers of Attorney
Extremely important documents, having various powers of attorney in place will give you peace of mind, knowing you will have others who can make decisions on your behalf if necessary. The two most important types of powers of attorney are medical and financial. Should you become incapacitated through illness, the people to whom you give this legal authority will make the best possible decisions under the circumstances.
3- Last Will and Testament
To make sure your final wishes are carried out exactly as you want, never move into a care facility of any type without first drafting a last will and testament. This can be crucial, since if the unthinkable happens and you pass away without having a will in place, your family members and others may endure a years-long battle over your estate. Should you already have a will in place prior to moving to a care facility, make sure it is updated to reflect your current situation. Should you have been recently divorced or had a spouse pass away, ensure your estate will go to those you love the most.
4- Advance Directive
Also called a living will, having an advance directive in place will be vital if your health takes a turn for the worse. This legal document lets you clearly have your medical wishes in writing. Doing so will let others know the types of medical treatment you want or do not want if you are seriously ill and unable to communicate with doctors or others. For example, you can specify if you wish to be resuscitated through CPR, if you want to be placed on life-support systems, or if you wish to donate your organs upon death.
Once you work with an attorney to get these legal details in place, you can move into a care facility much more easily, knowing you and your friends and family now have peace of mind. Having an advance directive, also called a living will, in place is crucial for safeguarding your healthcare decisions in case of a health crisis.