There are many complex emotions and questions that come up when thinking about placing a loved one in a residential care facility or a nursing home. Unfortunately, those moments can be even more complex when you finally recognize that a loved one needs more care than is currently capable of being provided by family and friends.
It is natural to feel a range of emotions like regret, guilt, and even relief as you work through this process. One of the most important things to do during this overwhelming time is to consider whether any estate planning documents have already been created for your loved one. If they have, it may be time to edit and revise these based on the new care needs of your loved one. Take a look at their estate planning documents now and discuss with them whether these still meet their primary needs.
One common issue that comes up frequently when moving someone into a nursing home is who will handle their finances. Your loved one may still be able to and interested in managing their own funds or someone in the family may need to step into a power of attorney agent role on an ongoing basis. If your loved one does not already have a financial power of attorney, you can discuss creating a general one to cover all their financial affairs or one that explicitly names specific roles for the POA agent.
If your loved one does not currently have any estate planning documents, but is showing early signs of potential cognitive decline, it may be important to create these documents to protect their wishes before they lose the capacity or ability to legally create this material. Working with the right attorney is very helpful for clarifying all of your major concerns around estate planning.