Friday, September 2, 2016

Why You Need A Plan Of Care

While sitting in a Deposition recently and listening to the testimony I realized the witness was describing the actual moment 5-6 years ago when the caregiving actually began.  But the family did not really realize this had begun until grandpa was checked into the facility several years later.  By that time well over $100,000 had already been spent on care and it had been done without a plan and, as usual, without accounting or reporting to the family.  The money that had already been spent limited the options that were now available and led to accusations

I know how difficult it is for caregivers.  Usually they are trying to juggle many different things.  The idea of sitting down and preparing a plan and also providing regular reports to family members just seems like too much work.  Unfortunately, this is the only way to fully protect yourself if you assume the role of caregiver.

A plan is critical because it will help you make all of the little decisions that arise in caregiving.  The plan will set forth the level of care needed and the costs involved which need to be measured against the income and assets available.  Longevity (risk) to the plan needs to be re-evaluated on at least an annual basis.  Even if it is obvious that the resources available will not be enough, a plan will help provide a glidepath and, most importantly, advanced notice to family members that a change is coming.  This will avoid the possibility of litigation when family members are confronted with the news that "mom is broke"

Seeing this play out over and over again I strongly encourage caregivers to develop at least a basic plan with financial details and circulate it among family members.  This should be followed up with at least an annual report and accounting (it can be very basic) of how the funds have been spent and what funds are still left.


The Tonkovich Law Firm assists clients with Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts, Durable Powers of Attorney, Conservatorship and Contested Probate Procedures and Business and Real Estate Litigation in Irvine, CA as well as El Toro, Aliso Viejo, Lake Forest, Laguna Hills, Tustin, Newport Beach, Santa Ana, Newport Coast, Ladera Ranch, Foothill Ranch, Mission Viejo, Laguna Woods, Corona Del Mar, Silverado, Orange, Laguna Beach, Rancho Santa Margarita amd Fountain Valley in Orange County.

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