An essential element of estate planning is to discuss where you want to live in your later years, how to be cared for, who will make those arrangements, and whether you have the resources to pay for your preferred living situation. As spaces become smaller, families more spread out, and social media use ubiquitous, we hear more about feelings of isolation and disconnection in our retired and elderly communities. I'm discouraged when I hear about these situations in my clients' own families or read them on the news. Discussing thoughts, desires, boundaries, and limitations (physical, mental, emotional, financial, etc.) well before care is needed can prevent not only these issues, but also so many misunderstandings and disagreements between everyone.
At the same time, I'm seeing more interest and openness to alternative living and care situations. This can include group homes, cohousing (see this article in the Spokesman Review), seniors having roommates (see this article in the Washington Post), and even just being proactive in modifying your current space to allow you to age in place (see this article in the Spokesman Review). A careful assessment of your needs and limitations and thinking outside the box from the old, "I'm going to live in my home just the way it is until I die" can will prolong independence and increase happiness in the long run.
For assistance with Washington state estate planning, probate and trust administration, call Megan Lewis Law, PLLC at (509) 557-7797 or complete our contact form. Our office provides local service for Spokane estate planning and can provide online virtual web and phone conferencing for estate planning in Seattle, Olympia, Bellingham and other areas of Washington state.
Megan M. Lewis