Thursday, July 9, 2015

What Legal Documents Should your Aging Parent Consider?

Having the right documents in place as you age is important to ensure that your wishes are carried out and decisions are made in your best interest. Unfortunately some people don’t realize the need for these forms until it’s too late. Right now they are able to think clearly and make sound decisions, but a few years down the road, things may change. You want to be prepared in the event that you are unable to make decisions, be they medical or financial.

There are several documents that you should discuss with your aging parent while they are capable of making their own decisions. The professionals at Always Best Care of Asheville-Hendersonville recognize the importance of advanced planning and encourage seniors to work with their family to have the proper forms and plans in place.

·         Durable Power of Attorney: While a power of attorney appoints another person to make decisions on your behalf while you are mentally and physically able, should you become incapacitated in some way, their power becomes void. A durable power of attorney grants them the ability to make decisions on your behalf should you become unable to. Some people use the durable power of attorney for both financial and healthcare matters, while other people separate these roles and assign them to different people. You can clearly outline the details of what decisions they are able to make and when.

·         Living Will: This is also known as an advanced directive. It a document that outlines your healthcare wishes should you become incapacitated. You can determine what steps you want to be taken and what steps you do not want when it comes to saving or prolonging your live. A durable power of attorney for health care should be filed as well to appoint an agent to make decisions. This agent could be a family member or trusted friend.

·         Living Trust: You may also want to consider a living trust. This document transfers your assets into a trust and then you can designate someone to be in charge of it. Should you become incapacitated or pass away, they are able to make decisions regarding your assets. A last will can be helpful as well as it specifies how you want your assets to be handled should you pass away. If no trust or will is in place, the state takes charge of your assets.

These are just a few documents to consider. Taking the time to talk to your lawyer can help you to be better prepared and make sure that everything is in place ahead of time. Don’t put off planning until the last minute when you are under pressure. Do it while you are thinking clearly and able to decide how you want things to be handled and by whom. Always Best Care of Asheville respects seniors’ wishes and supports them in leading a full and quality life. For more information, contact Always Best Care online or at (828) 989-7263.

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