Have you thought about your personal future if you become ill or incapacitated? Long term care planning is an essential part of any responsible estate plan. Without these critical documents, you may leave your New York family members or beneficiaries without any knowledge of your long-term care wishes, which means that your medical needs might not be met according to your preferences. Long-term care plans are an essential component to protecting loved ones when the time comes to make a tough decision.

Many options exist for long-term care planning. These include guardianship and conservatorship. You may have heard these words in relation to transferring custody of children in the event of the parents’ death; however, they are also relevant terms for elderly persons who have become incapable of caring for themselves.

When the time comes to make major decisions about your medical care and other needs, you need to know that you can rely on your legal documents and the actions of your guardian or conservator. Drafting relevant estate plans before this occurs can help ensure that your personal wishes are carried out if you suffer an incapacitating injury. Guardianships and conservatorships can also be created by adult children and other caregivers after the subject is incapacitated.

If you are the caregiver of an older adult, you need to make sure that you are legally protected through the conservatorship and guardianship program. When you have these important documents on your side, you can be guaranteed the legal authority you need to care for your relative or benefactor. Long-term care may not be the first topic that springs to mind when you think about estate planning — but planning for your own potential long-term needs can take a major burden off of your friends and family members.