Planning for Elder Care Checklist

Kevin received an urgent call, “Dad has had a stroke and is in surgery!” from his sister.  Kevin rushed into the hospital to meet his other family members and wait to hear the news.  While Kevin’s father would live, the stroke severely impacted his right side and his ability to speak.   Unfortunately, Kevin’s father did not have a power of attorney nor had he written down his financial account numbers and passwords.  Since Kevin’s mother had already passed, Kevin was nearly broke by being left to pay the recovery bills even though his father had financial means.  Kevin could see the money in the bank, but simply could not access it.

This is a true story of a business partner of ours.  Sometimes the simple parts of planning are overlooked, like writing down financial account logins, passwords and letting others know where it is hidden just in case.

The following checklist will make sure this doesn’t happen to you.

  1. Get your Estate Planning documents completed and at least two copies printed and given to two different people
    • Durable Power of Attorney.
    • Advance Medical Directive.
    • Will\Estate Plan Documents
    • Insurance Policies (Life, Disability, Health and Long Term Care)
  2. Create a list of account logins and passwords and make sure they are accessible to the family member who will be responsible for them
    • Email
    • All bank and financial institutions
    • Cell phone entry
    • Primary personal computer
  3. Speak with loved ones
    • Let them know where items are stored and who should get them
    • Let them know your wishes for care if you cannot communicate
    • Let them know your wishes for all of the above items even if they are not listed as an executor, trustee, or authorized representative.

Planning for elder care or end of life items is never fun or easy to think about.  But so far death and taxes are still certainties and by planning ahead with simple things it can prevent your loved ones from being put in a very difficult situation.