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Focus on a good estate plan to help your caregiver

As someone who may need a caregiver, you want to make sure that you are provided for while not placing too much of a burden on your loved ones. You want to stay in your home in old age, but you also realize how restrictive that can be for caregivers you're related to.

To ask someone in your life to be a caregiver is significant. You're essentially asking for someone to care for you like they might care for a child. They will need a break.

Caregivers can be exposed to a high amount of stress, both physically and psychologically. It's important that they are able to get the support they need, which is why it's important to make allowances for them when building an estate plan.

How can you help plan for care needs in an estate plan?

One thing to look into is creating an estate plan with a long-term care focus. If you believe that you will need long-term care, then you should set aside funds for it or invest in insurance coverage that could provide financing for in-home health care.

In your estate plan, you will also want to include information that your loved one can use to determine what your wishes might be in any number of circumstances. For example, if you have Alzheimer's disease and reach a point where you're a risk to yourself or others, would you still want in-home health care? Would you opt at that point to move to a specialized facility? If you do want to move, then which facility are you happy to go to? These are questions that you should think about now, so you can include that information with your estate planning documents.

Another thing to include, though it may be sad to think about, is a letter that instructs the caregiver on your end-of-life wishes. The time will come when a caregiver has to make those decisions, so you should provide those instructions to them. You may not be able to give guidance when that time comes, so discussing your wishes now and being able to support them while they can still have that conversation with you is important. You can add the letter of instruction to your estate plan along with long-term care insurance documents and other files, so that you are better prepared and can prepare your caregiver for what is to come in the future.

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