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“There’ll be time for that later.” “I don’t want to think about it now.” These are common excuses, but getting financial affairs in order and wishes on paper can buy peace of mind for everyone. Use this checklist to start a conversation with your aging loved ones. They may want to consult a lawyer or financial planner, but most of these can be created on one’s own.
A Will and Other Legal Documents
This signed legal document lets you say who you would like to make financial decisions for you if you can’t make them for yourself.
Living Will/Health Care Directive
If you become ill or disabled and can’t make or communicate decisions, a living will/health care directive spells out your end-of-life wishes regarding life-sustaining measures. Names vary by state.
Health Care Durable Power of Attorney
This signed legal document lets you say who you would like to make health care decisions for you if you can’t make them for yourself. This may also be called a health care proxy.
Advance Medical Directive
This may include one or more of the following: A living will, health care power of attorney, DNR order.
Long-Term Care Insurance (LTC)
Long-term skilled care can be very costly and not fully covered by Medicare. The average age to buy it is mid-50s. The older you are, the more it costs. If you are in poor health, you may not be eligible.
If you have specific wishes about end-of-life choices, it is helpful to share your thoughts with family.
Communicate Location of Important Documents
Someone should know where to find your important papers, including passwords for online accounts.
The information included here is not legal advice or a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are for general information purposes only, and you are urged to consult a lawyer concerning your own situation and any specific legal questions you may have. Cigna assumes no responsibility for any circumstances arising out of the use, misuse, interpretation, or application of any information supplied here.