The American Institute of CPAs has published a free guide to help people plan for eldercare and manage the period leading up to the end of life.

“A Guide to Financial Decisions: Implementing an End-of-Life Plan,” published in conjunction with the institute’s 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy program, covers topics such as property and assets, business ownership, retirement accounts, long-term and disability insurance, estate planning, succession planning, wills and living trusts. A chapter on government programs delves into Social Security disability benefits, Medicare, Medicaid and veterans’ benefits. A glossary defines over 100 legal and financial terms, including durable power of attorney, intestacy and variable annuity.

“The need for a guide like this was reinforced during my own personal circumstances involving my parents’ passing,” said Ted Sarenski, chair of the AICPA PrimePlus ElderCare Task Force, which developed the publication with the Personal Financial Planning Executive Committee. “Before my father died, he used to ask me about pension-plan options, Social Security and IRA withdrawals. My eldest sister, who helped take care of our mother, would ask questions about the proper course of action. The guide is meant for a wider group than just aging parents and their children. The end of life does not discriminate according to age.”

The guide, produced in cooperation with the Michigan Association of CPAs and Hospice of Michigan, is available on the AICPA's Web site. Additional resources are available on the AICPA’s 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy Website, http://www.360financialliteracy.org/.

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