Family matters FAQs
Prenuptial agreements are becoming increasingly popular. Marriage and divorce specialists often attribute this to the trend of people waiting to get married until they are a bit older. When couples are young and have few assets they don't think about it much. On the other hand, older couples may have accumulated some individual assets as well as debt. As more women have entered the workplace, more women have been requesting Prenuptial Agreements (traditionally men were more inclined to request a prenup).
While it is difficult to put an exact number on how many couples currently have Prenuptial Agreements, most agree that the number is increasing. Prenups help protect existing assets (such as assets you want reserved for your children from a previous relationship) and each other from accumulated debt that was acquired before the marriage. Mutual debt and assets acquired after the marriage may need to be protected with other agreements or the settlement may be out of your control should a divorce occur.
The adoption process is often complicated. It is usually not something that should be rushed into with minimal thought. The first two questions to ask yourself include:
Why do I want to adopt? If I'm adopting with a partner, are we on the same page? If I'm adopting alone, do I have the support I'll need (family and financial)? What might our lives look like in five, ten or 20 years?
What kind of adoption am I interested in? Do I want to adopt within the US or apply for international adoption? What age of child might I want to adopt? Would I be okay with birth-family involvement?
Once you have decided that you want to adopt and who you might want to adopt, you'll want to:
After you have done your research and prepared in every way possible, also be prepared to be patient and open to change your plans if needed.
To be honest, the first thing you need to consider is how care will be paid for and how much is available for long-term care. Do they have long-term care insurance? Do they have Medicare funding? Are you paying? Do they have savings that you may have access to? Nursing home care costs range from $6000 to $12,000, per month. In-home care costs roughly $12 - $30 per hour (or about $170 for an eight-hour day, not counting food and other living expenses). As you can see, cost is a huge factor when determining the kind of care you can afford to provide for your parent.
If you need to access their finances, you'll need a Power of Attorney.
The next step is to decide what kind of elderly care you need. Your parent may choose to "age in place," in a senior community, in assisted living, with a family member, or in a nursing home. You'll also need to decide if they need a medical caregiver or a companion caregiver. The first is licensed to provide a certain level of medical care whereas a companion caregiver provides companionship, house cleaning, shopping, meal preparation, and such. If you choose to hire someone to work in their (or your) home, consider using a Home Health Care Contract to outline the term of your agreement.
While finding a good caregiver may be stressful and challenging, it benefits everyone if you take your time and do your research to find the best person possible to care for your loved one.