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The Pandemic Squeeze: How to Manage Being Both Parent and Caretaker in 2021

Young parents nation-wide are managing a heroic task. With children spending more time at home and aging parents requiring special care as the most vulnerable portion of the population, middle-aged adults with kids are under extraordinary pressure. This is especially true of those whose parents suffer from illness or incapacitation. After all, folks in this position need not only worry about the impact of the pandemic but about the financial complication of paying for needed care if or when providing it oneself becomes unfeasible—as it already has for so many.

A comprehensive elder law plan can help. Not only does such a plan provide a roadmap to ensuring your loved one maintains their lifestyle for as long as possible and has access to needed care when the time comes, it also puts directives in place which designate proxies to handle medical and financial matters should your parent lose the ability to do so, themselves.

Relieving yourself of the burden of care and the anxiety of “what if?” not only energizes you to attend to homebound children but, just as importantly, to your own well-being. Explained below are ways elder law can intervene to take some of the load off your shoulders.

  1. Ensure advance directives are in place.

Advance directives refer to one’s medical power of attorney, directive and durable financial power of attorney. In the first, your parent designates a loved one to handle healthcare matters on their behalf should the need arise and states their wishes should extraordinary means become necessary; in the second, the same is set up for financial matters. Together, these documents ensure that no matter the situation, your parents will receive proper care and stand no risk of falling behind on essential transactions such a bill pays or tax matters.

If soundness of mind is a concern, a durable power of financial attorney also allows a trusted advisor or loved one to intervene to prevent a parent from falling victim to fraud or otherwise being compelled to poor decision making.

  1. Build a long-term care plan.

A long-term care plan puts legal tools to work to ensure your parent need not spend their life-savings to gain access to needed care. An elder law attorney can provide advice on setting up a trust either as a means of qualifying for public benefits or a mechanism for avoiding the cost and tribulation of probate court. Lastly, they can help with executing a will and attending to other estate planning tasks.

Taken all together, a long-term care plan protects assets and lays the groundwork for continued quality of life.

If you are a young parent struggling to keep up with the competing needs of childcare and caring for an aging parent, do not hesitate to reach out. Call our office at (936) 301-0111 or contact us via our website’s contact form and we will walk you through the options available for relieving the pressure from your individual situation.



Monique Hineline

Smith & Smith are very professional, informative, and relatable with examples and stories to ease the estate planning process. I had the best time at their lunch and learn. Even if you already have your estate planning in place I highly recommend attending a lunch and learn. Thanks Smith & Smith!