Solving the Sandwich Generation's Unique Challenges

“The Sandwich Generation” might sound silly, but its challenges are unique. This term refers to people in their 30s to 50s, with aging parents and minor children. They’re “sandwiched” in the middle, taking care of both the older and younger generation.

When you’re in the middle of the sandwich, estate planning is more crucial than ever. Most adult children want to ensure that their parents are taken care of in their golden years. They also need to make sure their minor children are protected in the event of their premature passing.

These challenges can often seem overwhelming. Fortunately, James Bart Leonardi, LLC can help you and your parents make comprehensive estate plans to protect your family.

Common concerns

Sitting down with your parents to discuss end-of-life care and estate planning isn’t fun, but it’s necessary. It’s also a good opportunity to plan how you’ll protect your own children: many of the estate planning tools will be the same, even if your strategies are slightly different.

According to the Administration for Community Living, “Someone turning age 65 today has almost a 70 percent chance of needing some type of long-term care services and supports in their remaining years. Women need care longer (3.7 years) than men (2.2 years). One-third of today's 65 year-olds may never need long-term care support, but 20 percent will need it for longer than 5 years.”

Long-term care isn’t covered by Medicare or other traditional health policies. It’s also prohibitively expensive for most people to pay out of pocket. Older adults need to plan for the possibility—without draining their resources at the same time. An estate planning attorney can help your parents fund their care through long-term care insurance or other investments. They may also wish to designate you as their medical and/or financial power of attorney, in case of incapacity.

Living arrangements are often an issue. If you’re unwilling or unable to care for your parents as they age, there should be a plan for accommodations. Determine whether your parents would like to go to assisted living facilities, make “aging-in-place” renovations to their home or another solution.

Finally, avoiding probate is usually desirable. Various planning techniques including trusts, beneficiary designations and sometimes joint property (real estate, bank accounts and more) will immediately transfer funds and property to the beneficiaries, saving them time and hassle while they’re grieving.

The Sandwich Generation might not have it easy, but careful estate planning makes all the difference. Call James Bart Leonardi, LLC today. We will help you and your parents achieve peace of mind through thorough, strategic estate plans.

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