Legal Documents Family Caregivers Should Have in Place

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Family caregivers may find it difficult to talk about legal matters with their aging loved ones, especially if their loved ones are reluctant to discuss such matters. However, postponing these discussions can impede family caregivers’ ability to make important decisions for their loved ones and lead to unnecessarily long, costly legal processes and unfortunate battles within families. There are several legal documents you need to discuss with your loved one. These documents should be signed as soon as possible while your loved one is competent to tell people his or her wishes concerning property and care.

Durable Power of Attorney 

A durable power of attorney allows a family caregiver to handle medical, financial, and other decisions and to act on behalf of his or her loved one when signing legal documents. Therefore, you can control your loved one’s finances in banks and other financial institutions. It also gives you the right to buy or sell your loved one’s assets, such as land. Finally, it gives you the right to make decisions about your loved one’s medical care. A durable power of attorney shouldn’t be confused with a power of attorney, which only allows a caregiver to act in extremely limited circumstances. If you don’t get this document signed and your loved one becomes unable to communicate what he or she wants, the court may have to appoint someone in a conservatorship hearing. If that happens, every decision must be approved by the court. 

If your loved one is unable to sign a durable power of attorney, it is essential to go to court now and be appointed the conservator. This appointment gives you the right to act on your loved one’s behalf. If you’re appointed the conservator, you’ll be required to show the court documents related to everything you do on behalf of your parent. You don’t need both a conservatorship and a durable power of attorney.

Making medical decisions for your loved one may include hiring a home caregiver to ensure safety and comfort. Families looking for top-rated elder care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

Living Will

Encourage your loved one to set up a living will, a document that allows seniors to state their wishes about their healthcare if they become incapacitated or stop breathing. If this document isn’t in place, medical personnel must perform CPR and take other necessary lifesaving measures. In particular, this document should state whether your loved one wants to be put on life support or not.

While it’s not easy for family caregivers to have these discussions with their loved ones, doing so ensures seniors receive the care they want and need. Seniors living with serious health conditions often need extensive assistance in and outside the home. Home Care Assistance is a trusted provider of Richardson live-in care. Our caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with bathing, grooming, light housekeeping, and various other daily tasks, and we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Will 

Every senior should have a written will that states exactly what he or she wants to happen to his or her possessions after death. You can be appointed the trustee to take care of the estate after your loved one passes on. Alternatively, a lawyer can be appointed the trustee. If your loved one dies without a will, the court gets to decide these matters. Oftentimes, the court simply decides that everything gets sold, and no one gets what was promised to them. 

Having these documents in place is vital for your loved one and your family, and so is making sure your parent gets the high-quality care he or she deserves. When searching for reliable home care agencies, families want to know their senior loved ones will be well taken care of. At Home Care Assistance, our expertly trained caregivers are available around the clock to assist with tasks around the house, provide transportation to medical appointments and social events, and much more. If your loved one needs assistance with the challenges of aging, reach out to one of our knowledgeable, compassionate Care Managers today at (469) 573-4213.

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