6 Legal Documents Every Family Caregiver Should Have

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When you’re a family caregiver, there may be times when you’ll be called on to make legal, financial, and medical decisions on behalf of your senior loved one. Having the right legal documents on hand can prevent unexpected roadblocks during already stressful situations. Following are some essential documents every family caregiver should have on file.


1. HIPAA Authorization

The Healthcare Information Portability and Accountability Act is in place to protect privacy, particularly with regard to a person’s records. Without HIPAA authorizations, doctors are unable to share important medical information with caregivers about their loved ones. Having this document in place ensures a family caregiver is always capable of making informed decisions on behalf of the loved one he or she cares for.


2. Advanced Directive

An advanced healthcare directive is a legal document that allows your loved one to tell family members and healthcare providers what types of medical care he or she does and doesn’t want. The directive only goes into effect if your loved one becomes unable to make decisions for him or herself. The document can also stipulate end-of-life interventions your loved one wishes to receive and eliminate family disagreements over the appropriate medical actions to take.


3. Power of Attorney for Healthcare

A durable power of attorney for healthcare allows a senior to appoint his or her caregiver as a healthcare agent. This will allow the caregiver to make decisions for the senior with a doctor and choose the type of healthcare providers the senior will visit. Typically, this document will take effect if the senior is unable to understand the situation or communicate with a doctor, which is often the case for seniors who have dementia. 

Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. Fort Lauderdale families can rely on Assisting Hands Home Care to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life.


4. Power of Attorney for Finances

A durable power of attorney for finances is a simple and affordable way for a senior to allow someone to manage his or her finances. A senior can choose to have an option that only transfers power if he or she becomes incapacitated, or it can take effect immediately. Financial power of attorney allows a caregiver to invest money, operate businesses, file taxes, manage accounts, and use the senior’s assets to manage the senior’s expenses.

Making decisions for your loved one may include hiring a home caregiver to ensure your parent’s safety and comfort. Families looking for top-rated homecare providers can reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.


5. A Will

Wills are never a pleasant subject to think about, but they’re vital legal documents for all family caregivers. Wills allow seniors to outline how they want their property to be distributed upon their passing and can prevent potential family squabbles. When used in conjunction with other estate planning techniques, a will can also minimize the tax consequences of transferring property.


6. Revocable Living Trust

Some might also opt to draft this document to avoid issues with probate. A living trust is similar to a will in all aspects except that the trust remains a private matter. This way, the author of the document may address personal or financial issues that are revealed only to a select group of people.

Having these documents in place is vital for your loved one and your family, and so is making sure your parent gets the high-quality care he or she deserves. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of home care. Fort Lauderdale Assisting Hands Home Care provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. If your senior loved one needs assistance with the challenges of aging, reach out to one of our knowledgeable, compassionate Care Managers today.