Caring for an Aging Parent: Your Legal Document Checklist

Caring for an aging parent can be overwhelming. It generally becomes emotional as well because of the familial connection. Other family members may not share your thoughts on how to properly care for your aging parent, which can often lead to negative emotions and conflicts within the family.

To avoid personal and legal confrontations, your loved one should speak with an attorney and express his or her wishes ahead of time. Asking your parent to designate you or another trusted individual as his or her health care proxy could prevent legal battles and other difficult situations in the future.

To make your role as a caregiver for your parent(s) less challenging, you should create a checklist and truly understand what is required of you. These legal documents help to establish the wishes of your parents and to minimize the strive within the wider family.

A Legal Document Checklist for An Aging Parent

Below are some of the legal documents that you should plan to set up when caring for an aging parent.

  1. A medical directive Sometimes referred to as a living will or advance health care directive, this document sets out what kind of care your loved ones want to receive, if and when they become physically or mentally disabled..
  2. A durable power of attorney for healthcare and HIPAA release A durable power of attorney for healthcare designates who can make healthcare decisions for your loved ones. The HIPAA release gives you permission to access your parents’ health records and physicians.
  3. A durable power of attorney for finances Financial decisions and estate matters can become an emotional issue for some adult children of aging parents. A durable power of attorney for finances allows you to manage your loved ones’ financial affairs, pay bills, sell property, and so on.
  4. A revocable living trust It allows your loved ones to retain control over their estate while making transfers of assets to recipients. They designate what property (home, investments, jewelry, and so on) goes into the trust and to whom it will be granted. During their lifetimes, they act as executors of their own living trust. A revocable living trust has an important advantage: it allows their estate to avoid probate at the time of their deaths.
  5. A will A will makes clear who will receive your loved ones’ assets and personal property. A properly written will helps to avoid disagreements over estate after their deaths.

Following this checklist, you can plan how to provide effective care for your loved one. But at some point your aging parent may need the assistance and expertise of a trained professional caregiver, like a geriatric care manager, home health provider, and/or an assisted living community/nursing home.

Not every senior has the same care needs. And many seniors will experience an increasing level of care over time. When it comes to placing your aging parent in an assisted living community setting, contact us at Best Nest Senior Advisors for a no-cost, personal solution. We can help you find the perfect residential environment for your mom or dad.