In Home Care Legal Considerations
Learn more about the legal considerations associated with in home care.
Since legal matters can get complicated during the senior years, organization is a must. When you discuss in home care with your older loved one, it’s crucial to assist them in making sure that all of their legal affairs and documents are taken care of.
Fortunately, the internet is full of information related to legal matters for older adults. To educate yourself, feel free to visit these online resources:
- The ABA’s Guide to Wills and Estates
- The Aba’s Commission on Law and Aging
- National Academy of Elder Law Attorney’s lawyer locator tools
Advanced Health Care Directives
There are certain legal documents that allow seniors to specify the long-term care decisions and types of medical intervention that may be made on their behalf if they become incapacitated and suffer from a severe illness. These documents are referred to as advanced directives and come in these two forms which are both recommended:
- A Living Will
- A Durable Power of Attorney
Wills and Trusts
The purpose of wills are to give individuals the opportunity to choose who receives their personal assets after they pass away. They are designed to prevent family conflicts and legal issues. Those who do not have a will should understand that their assets could be distributed according to law rather than their preferences. Estate attorneys recommend that both spouses have a will that’s regularly updated to reflect estate changes.
Trusts are designed to care for dependent family members, assist in tax and estate planning, and avoid probate. Some types of trusts can make a senior ineligible to receive Medicaid.
Guardians and Conservators
A court can select a guardian or conservator after an individual becomes incapacitated if they do not have a durable power of attorney to state whom they want to act on their behalf if incapacitation occurs. While a guardian is chosen to make financial, personal, and health care decisions, a conservator is delegated to oversee the financial affairs of someone who is unable to.
The Collection of Important Information
Older adults should play a role in helping their loved ones collect important documents that can be accessed during a crisis or medical emergency. Seniors are encouraged to use a notebook in order to record information and store these key documents. Here is a brief list of some of the information and documents that should be included in the notebook:
- Social Security Records
- Birth Certificate
- Health and Life Insurance Information
- Contact Info of Primary Physician and Other Healthcare Professionals
- Medical History
- Advance Directives
- Medicare Documents
- Funeral Prearrangements
- Trust and Will Documents
- Mortgage Paperwork
- Credit Card Information
If you have any questions regarding the legal considerations associated with in home care, contact us today. One of our in home care advisors would be happy to answer any questions you have and provide you with additional resources.
Comfort Keepers of Fox Chapel and Pittsburgh, PA provides leading in home care services to:
Allison Park, Apollo, Arnold, Blanchard, Blawnox, Cheswick, Freeport, Fox Chapel, Gibsonia, Leechburg, West Leechburg, Lower Burrell, Natrona Heights, New Kensington, Oakmont, Springdale, Tarentum and Verona, PA