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Legal Issues Behind Caregiving

Establishing a precedent when it comes to the care of a loved one is essential, especially with the legal aspects of finances and health care. Here are some points to consider when taking control over the legal responsibilities for your relative in need of care.

Tips to remember when dealing with legal issues:

  • Find a lawyer who can help you establish a will or estate plan for your relative. A lawyer can also provide strong advice on other key developments in the life of your loved one.
  • Discuss with your relative important financial aspects such as the location of documents, gaining access to their banking accounts, and stepping in to take over any financial responsibilities they may have.
  • Look into the possibility of becoming the power of attorney for your loved one if they become incapable of caring for themselves. Often a durable power of attorney can provide better coverage instead of a simple one.
  • A living will can provide an end of life decision for your loved one should they become terminally ill. This pivotal paper can tell a doctor just how much or how little care the person wishes to receive.
  • Talk with other family members about the intentions of your relative and ask their advice should you feel unsure about any matter.
  • Have your attorney distribute the proper documents to the doctors, banks, and health care providers of your relative.
  • Understand what your loved one’s insurance plan calls for in the event of hospitalization or hospice care.
  • Be upfront with your relative about your feelings behind the decisions you make, and allow for them to offer their advice should they be of sound mind.
  • Find out what financial protection is offered for your loved one when it comes to their Social Security and pension benefits.
  • Contact local agencies that deal with legal protection of the elderly and see what services they can provide.