Justin, My mother just turned 75. She’s healthy for her age, but I’m starting to see things that concern me. I want to help her, but I’m still raising two boys of my own, and I’m feeling overwhelmed. Can you point me in the right direction? – Judy
Judy, You are not alone. You’re a member of the Sandwich Generation, a growing segment of the population between the ages of 40 and 60 who is raising a child while also caring for a parent. Being a part of the Sandwich Generation means you’ll face a unique set of legal challenges, and you’ve already taken the right first step by seeking to arm yourself with knowledge so that you can avoid major setbacks down the road.
There are three things everyone in the Sandwich Generation must know. I’ll cover the first one in this answer, and I’ll discuss the other two in this space in the coming weeks.
First, your mother needs to name a power of attorney, and so do you. A power of attorney is a legal document that allows one person to conduct business on behalf of another. Signing a power of attorney doesn’t take away your ability to manage your own affairs; it just adds another who can legally help when needed. You need to cover both financial matters and healthcare issues. Without solid power of attorney documents, family members can be stonewalled by financial institutions, insurance companies, and healthcare providers when they attempt to help.
As a person gets older, the need for power of attorney documents may become more obvious. But you shouldn’t wait until needs arise—that can be too late. People like you in the Sandwich Generation should insist that your parents take care of this important first step in planning. You should do it yourself, too.
The attorneys in my firm would love to help you with this. Call today for a no-charge strategy session, and check out our website to learn more.