by Catriona MacLennan
Harper Collins Publishers - RRP: $34.99
Ready for Anything, by barrister, journalist and New Zealand author Catriona MacLennan offers people the chance to plan ahead by arming themselves with the necessary information and tools to live happily, safely and well as they age.
Through her book Ms MacLennan shows how a little preparation can save people from the legal and financial minefields of old age.
As the New Zealand population ages, older people need to put their legal and financial affairs in order to ensure that their wishes are carried out if they have an accident or severe illness and can no longer look after themselves or communicate their wishes.
Doing this before it is too late means knowing your wishes will be carried out, and at time of stress prevents confusion, arguments and financial disasters for those left behind.
There’s a real lack of relevant information available with regard to the special issues and decisions people face as they grow older, that’s what motivated the author to write Ready for Anything — with the right knowledge these situations can be avoided.
Ready for Anything features specific information for caregivers, acknowledging their huge responsibility, but also reassuring them that they should not feel guilty if they find it overwhelming or feel that they need a break from caring for an older relative.
The author believes New Zealanders need to understand that they are an ageing population and move to protect and empower the elderly.
Ready for Anything has information to help younger people caring for parents or grandparents to make informed decisions at stressful times, such as when their loved ones suddenly have a stroke, heart attack or accident.
Ready for Anything empowers Baby Boomers at, or coming up to, retirement age, as well as people who are already retired, by providing them with basic information about legal and other issues they will encounter, such as:
Can family members change your will against your wishes?
What happens if you need to appoint someone to manage your affairs?
What is a ‘living will’?
What is a home equity release scheme and how might it apply to you?
Staying in your own home or moving to a retirement village — what are your options?
Who pays if you need help in the home or can’t afford rest-home care?
What help is available in the community?
Who can you turn to if you need advice?
What are the implications of moving into a rest home or private home?
What are your superannuation entitlements?
Ready for Anything provides the necessary tools and information to make thyese sorts of critical decisions before it is too late.
About Catriona MacLennan
Catriona is a barrister and has practised law in South Auckland for the past 12 years. She was the first lawyer to work at Nga Ture Kaitiaki Ki Waikato Community Law Centre where she provided legal advice to people who couldn’t afford lawyers.
A former Parliamentary Press Gallery journalist, Catriona is a well known media commentator who specialises in legal, social and animal rights’ issues.
She is the bestselling author of Know Your Rights — A Practical Guide to the Law for Every New Zealand Household, Home Truths and Kitchen Table Millionaire.