Man with a tennis ball and a racquetIf you’re looking ahead to your retirement and the years beyond, there’s a strong chance that you’d like to remain in your own home independently as long as possible. This is because a growing number of older individuals – not just in Massachusetts – but across the country want the same. This is referred to as aging in place.

In certain situations, aging in place makes a lot of sense. You can make use of additional support systems such as family members or outside care professionals, if necessary, while still living in your own home and retaining a lot of independence.

One of the first and most important steps regarding your wish to age in place is to have this conversation with your family members. If you’re in relatively good health, aging in place may be the right fit for you, but your family members should be aware of your needs and desires. Furthermore, they might be able to help with the second step of the process, which is determining whether or not your current home supports you fully. Some minor modifications to the home might make it a reality for you to continue to stay there largely on your own.

The next stage of the process is to determine what mix of caregiving you would have access to if something happened to you. Usually the first type of support you’ll receive comes from family, but you may also want to work with outside caregivers like a home health aide if you have some minor needs on an ongoing basis.

Finally, make sure that all of your estate planning and medical documents are up to date. Being in good health now does not guarantee that things will always be the same, but getting family members on board with your wishes regarding care and having clearly-written documents outlining your plans can be very helpful if something happens to you suddenly.

If you’d like to learn more about the estate planning documents that can be helpful when you intend to age in place, contact a Massachusetts estate planning lawyer today.

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