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Caregiver Support FAQs

Who can benefit from this service? 

Anyone who is facing the possibility of providing or arranging for care for a loved one can benefit from our services in this area.   This is even true when the person needing care has long term care insurance.   There are several issues and questions people must deal with and get answers to when faced with the prospect of providing or arranging care.   We can help you answer those questions.  

What kinds of questions and issues are you referring to? 

While this is not a complete list, here are some examples: 

Should I, and can I afford to leave my job to be a caregiver?

What will it cost to arrange for care in the right setting?

Where can I get training on how to be a caregiver for a family member?

Which type of care is best for my loved one’s situation?

What is the difference between Assisted Living and Residential Care Facilities?

What is the difference between a Skilled Nursing Facility and a Memory Care Facility?

What facilities and home care services are available in my area and how can I know which ones are best?

Is there any assistance from government sources available to pay for care?

How does the long- term care insurance plan my loved one has work?

What is the best way to pay for the care?

My loved one is becoming unable to deal with their finances, how do I handle that?

Is it wise to sell my loved one’s home to help pay for care? 

What services are included in Caregiver Support? 

From Financial Life Plans:

  • Consultations by phone, Zoom or in person.
  • We will assist in completing any claims forms.
  • We will review all of your loved one’s trusts and explain the key responsibilities of the successor trustee.
  • We will review Durable Powers of Attorney and help you file them with the appropriate financial institutions.
  • For IRA/401K/403B accounts where your loved one is age 72 or older, we will help you make sure that Required Minimum Distributions are taken from the account so your loved one does not end up paying the 50% penalty tax in addition to the ordinary taxes.
  • If your loved one meets their trust’s definition of mentally incapacitated, we will assist you in changing the trustee from your loved one to the successor trustee.
  • We will help you locate the best and available facilities for care.
  • We can provide Medi-Cal compliant annuities should Medi-Cal be an option that is recommended by legal counsel.
  • We will obtain new Tax ID numbers if needed.
  • We can assist in creating an inventory of the estate with attention to how each asset needs to be handled.
  • We will work with your loved one’s legal and tax professionals (or we can refer you to the attorneys and CPAs we work with if you prefer).
  • We will review all investment accounts and help you create a prudent strategy for paying for care for your loved one.
  • We can assist you with family/beneficiary meetings. 

From CPA:

  • CPA prepared personal and trust tax returns at competitive rates. 

What if the all the parties involved live in different states? 

The caregiver may be a different person than the person holding Durable Power of Attorney or the Successor Trustee of a trust.  Whatever the situation is, if Covid-19 has shown us anything, it is that these services can be completed successfully via Zoom, phone, email, and mail.   We also have a “vault” that clients can use to upload private documents securely and share them with us.  

When is the best time to utilize this service? 

I like the Boy Scout’s motto: “Be prepared.”  When it comes to care, it is usually best not to wait until the last minute.   Most problems and difficulties can be avoided if they are addressed in advance.   For clients who are not mentally incapacitated and are in good health, we can help you evaluate whether long term care insurance is a viable option.   We will also review your assets, beneficiaries, trusts, powers of attorney and advanced healthcare directives to make sure that everything is well coordinated.    We prefer to meet with the client and family members (if the client is agreeable) or at least the client and client’s successor trustee/Durable Power of Attorney holder before mental incapacity occurs so we can help them correct any problems and recommend any changes that should be made. 

Why should I hire you when I can do much of this myself? 

Most folks mean well and sincerely want to help their family members by being the caregiver for them.  When answering this question, we need to separate caregiver responsibilities and financial responsibilities inherent in being a caregiver.  Sometimes the caregiver is not the same person who has the financial responsibilities.  While we cannot be a physical/emotional caregiver, we can help you locate the appropriate caregivers.  We can help with the burden of the financial issues and responsibilities.   There are some of the services that we provide that you may be able to do yourself.   Just because you can, it does not mean you should.   We can help you build your list of services, so you do not pay for help you don’t need. 

Go back to the list of questions above and ask yourself if you know the answers to them or know where to get the answers.  Ask yourself if you have the time and desire to research this and become proficient at this. Even more importantly, can you afford to take time off from your work and time away from your family for an extended period that could be only a few months or could end up being prolonged for 7-10 years?    Finally, there is the stress of being the physical and emotional caregiver that often affects the caregiver’s health.   Even if you are not the physical and emotional caregiver, the financial responsibilities and decisions around caregiving can be overwhelming.  

Bottom line: we are here to make your life easier and less stressful.