One of the many things that we can take away from the COVID-19 pandemic is that caregivers provide an invaluable service to our loved ones in need of care. In 2015, the AARP’s Public Policy Institute estimated that there were 43.5 million caregivers in the United States whose services were valued at a whopping $470 billion a year. While $470 billion is A LOT of money, the value of the impact of what these dedicated caregivers provide is actually priceless. They make sure that our loved ones are well cared for, get the medical attention they need, and are able to live safer and healthier lives. Caregivers need their own estate plan too.
Caregivers Need Care Too
Caregivers are known for being selfless because they often prioritize those they care for over themselves. It’s a struggle to put their needs before the needs of others because their job is so demanding. Caregivers may feel guilt for thinking of themselves first. The truth is, when you’re caring for others, the only way to keep showing up for everyone else and to avoid burn out is to take care of yourself first. Putting yourself first means staying on top of your own health, making sure your own needs are met, having a self-care routine, and making sure your own affairs are in order – including your estate plan!
Care For Yourself by Creating an Estate Plan
As a caregiver, others rely on you for help with their everyday needs. It’s hard to think about what would happen if something happened to you. What would happen to the person you cared for? How would your own affairs be handled? Who would be stepping in to make these decisions? These are all important questions that need to be thought about carefully.
Estate planning and elder law attorneys serve as a huge resource for caregivers. Why? Because we understand the complexities of caring for loved ones that are aging, disabled, or ill. We understand the many challenges that caregivers face and how there are many layers to sift through to find solutions to problems. There are often medical, financial, and emotional aspects to consider and we, more than anybody, understand how hard that can be.
It’s important to find an attorney that can help you design an estate plan that addresses your needs and those of your loved ones that you care for. While thinking of the future can be unsettling, there is a lot of peace of mind that comes from knowing that you have a plan in place for yourself and the ones you care for. If something happens to you, you can still plan to make sure that your loved one receives that care they need and deserve.
Special Considerations for Caring for Minors
If you are a caregiver for your minor children you know that there are special considerations that need to be accounted for. First, it’s important to make sure that you have guardian named in your will who will serve as the caretakers of your children. It’s important to name at least two people – a primary and a backup. These are the people that will be responsible for all aspects of your child’s upbringing.
A second consideration is the need for a special needs trust. You may have certain desires as to how money that you leave for your children is handled, especially if your children receive government benefits. A special needs trust is the estate planning tool that would allow you set money aside for your child, outline the money can be used, and still remain eligible for government benefits. Our firm can help you create a trust that helps you to achieve this as well as name a trusted individual who will advocate for the needs of your child when you are unable to on your own.
We Are Here for You
As a caregiver your role of caring for your loved ones is crucial, which is why it’s even more important that you have a plan in place for yourself for the unexpected. Let us help you tailor an estate plan to your specific needs. Contact Us at (914) 840-2529 or (703) 791-9618 to speak with one our estate planning attorneys.
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