Taking care of your aging parent or loved one involves managing several variables, including some legal considerations. According to AARP, these practical tips can help you be prepared to care for your aging loved ones and their changing needs:
Have the Right Documents
In addition to a will, make sure your loved one has a durable power of attorney for health-related and financial affairs. This paperwork allows the appointed person to make medical or financial decisions for an elderly or sick family member. It’s important to create these documents while your loved one can still make key decisions.
Ask About an Advanced Directive
A health care power of attorney (POA) is part of an advance directive. This document includes your loved one’s wishes for care if they have a serious illness. The advanced directive includes whether life-sustaining treatment should be stopped, and if so, when.
Organize Key Documents
Some of the documents you’ll need from your loved one include their birth certificate, marriage certificate, divorce degree, citizenship paperwork, death certificate of a spouse or parent, power(s) of attorney, deeds to cemetery plots, deeds to property, military discharge paperwork, insurance policies, health benefits, and bank account numbers.
Have a Family Plan
Put in writing who will be responsible for each caregiving role and each of the parties sign it. Although this is not a legal document, it can keep peace within the family by making everyone's role clear during emotionally difficult situations.