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Legal Planning Strategy for Family Caregivers

Family caregivers may not find it easy to discuss legal matters with their senior loved ones, especially if the senior is reluctant about discussing them. Sometimes putting off discussion can delay taking appropriate action and lead to costly and lengthy legal processes or battles, so Albuquerque in-home elder care professionals suggest getting these three documents in order as soon as possible. 

Durable Power of Attorney or Conservator

The durable power of attorney allows the family caregiver to act on behalf of the senior in all places where the senior would normally have to sign his or her name. It should not be confused with the power of attorney, which limits the scope of what the appointee can do at one specific place or time. 

If your loved one cannot sign a durable power of attorney, it is important to go to court now to be appointed the conservator. This court appointment gives you the right to act on behalf of your loved one. If you are appointed the conservator, you will need to show the judge documents for everything you do on behalf of your loved one. You do not need both a durable power of attorney and a conservatorship. 

Living Will 

Encourage your loved one to set up a living will. A living will allows your loved one to say what he or she wants done medically if he or she stops breathing. Another name for this document is a health care directive. Unless this document is in place, the hospital must do CPR and place your loved one on life support if he or she needs it. 

Will

Every senior should have a will written. A will allows your loved one to state what he or she wants done with his or her possessions after death. Without a written will, the entire estate may be divided by a judge who does not follow the senior’s wishes. 

Having these three documents in place is vital for your senior loved one and the family.For more information on financial and legal matters that affect you and your loved one, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We provide live-in and part-time care, and we also offer specialized Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s care. Albuquerque families can call 505-798-0800 to speak to a Care Manager and schedule a complimentary consultation.