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What is a Family Plan?
A family plan is a written document incorporating the wishes of a family unit in five fields – financial, legal, medical, living arrangements, and personal values. A Plan should be developed while the persons(s) is mentally well enough to be able to relay his/her/their wishes to the rest of the family.
Developing a family plan is very important for many reasons, not the least of which is to prevent family disputes later in life when you are less able to speak up for yourself. It also ensures that all members of the family know your desires and will, as a group, ensure that those wishes are fulfilled, to the extent possible.
As Geriatric Care professionals, we have seen many cases where the adult children had no information at all about major health issues of their parents. Consequently, if the parents were unable to speak for themselves, the adult children were not able to make informed decisions about care and end of life. (DNR or comfort measures? Treat on not treat a condition? Intubate or not?)
We have also seen many cases where families have disintegrated into angry, separated units, sometimes never again speaking to each other. Lawyers have been called in to represent each faction, resulting in inheritances being decimated to pay for legal fees.
Sometimes it is in the parents’ best interests to have a non-family member act as a DPOA or executor. Professional fiduciaries can fulfill these roles as well. These are trained professionals who are licensed by the State of California and governed by a set of ethics created by the Professional Fiduciary Association of California.
Geriatric Care Managers can hold and coordinate a Family Meeting to develop a Family Plan. Having a disinterested third party is very helpful in moderating the discussion as well as bringing up subjects that need to be covered in the meeting.
Call Parent Care Management Services, Inc. to schedule your Family Plan Meeting. Our 26+ years of experience working with families will enhance your meeting and provide you with questions and answers you may not have considered previously