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Ensure the health of your financial plans

As people age, their health is likely to have an increasing impact on their wealth. Medical expenses, assisted living costs and cognitive decline can challenge anyone’s financial plan. These possibilities may be difficult to discuss with clients, but doing so can help build stronger, more authentic relationships.

Are your client’s finances ready for transition?

Ensure clients are well prepared to transition financial decision-making responsibilities. Clients can take these actions now to help their financial caretaker in the future:
Appoint a financial representative
The appointee should be deemed both competent and trustworthy to act in your client’s best interest should they become unable to act for themselves.
Organize accounts and arrange access
Clients should create a comprehensive list of financial assets with instructions on how to access them. Offer our worksheet to help clients get started.
File a Power of Attorney (POA)
Encourage clients to keep their POA on file with financial institutions and review annually. Partner with an attorney to offer their services if clients don’t have a POA.
Document wishes and communicate plans
Ensure a financial caretaker and/or family members know where important documents are kept and instructions for managing assets are understood.

Where will your client live?

A client’s health can have an impact on where and how they live. Build a network of service providers who can help clients as they consider which living arrangements will be most suitable for them.
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At-home service providers
Clients may need help maintaining their house (a cleaning service, handyman, etc.), caregivers or transportation services.
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Long-term care consultant
A local consultant can help clients select a long-term care or assisted living facility and provide guidance on costs and payment options.
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Long-term care insurer
A long-term care policy helps cover costs of care in a variety of settings (e.g., home, assisted living facility, nursing home) for clients with chronic conditions.
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Real estate agent
A trusted local real estate agent can help clients who want to relocate.

Who will carry out your client’s health care wishes?

Loved ones should not be taxed with heart-wrenching decisions, especially in a time of emotional distress. Advise clients to clearly articulate their health care choices and ensure that the necessary documents are in place to empower a family member or friend to carry out their wishes.
Advanced directive (AD)
Also known as a “living will,” an AD provides instructions for a person’s care should they become incapacitated or otherwise unable to communicate their wishes.
Medical power of attorney (POA)
Appoints someone to make decisions in accordance with the instructions in the AD. The AD and medical POA are often combined into a single document.
A POLST outlines any end-of-life treatments that a person does or does not want. A DNR is an order to not resuscitate a person in certain situations.
Last will and testament
Articulates a person’s wishes to be carried out after their death, mainly with respect to the distribution of their assets and the guardianship of dependents.
Support critical family conversations
Discussing healthcare, including end-of-life care, is often uncomfortable and emotionally charged, which is why you should encourage clients to start the conversation early. Share resources from The Conversation Project to help clients articulate their wishes.
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