Legal Considerations From Home Health Services Providers in West Chester
Keep your elderly loved ones secure in the future by knowing legal considerations in West Chester, PA and surrounding areas
Seniors have many changing concerns across their golden years, including physical, cognitive, and emotional health changes, mobility challenges, and shifting social connections. One thing that might slip off your elderly loved one’s to-do list is managing legal documents and taking care of legal plans for the future. Home health services providers know that it’s important for families to be involved in the care of aging loved ones, and families can offer a lot of assistance with legal planning, too.
Start by doing your research. Here are a few of our favorite online resources:
- The American Bar Association’s (ABA) Commission on Law and Aging
- The ABA’s Guide to Wills and Estates
- Find a Lawyer tool on the Tennessee Bar's website
- Find a Lawyer tool on the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys’ website
- The Law Issues for Consumers section of the ABA's website
If your aging loved one is being cared for with home health services, you already have an expert at your disposal who can help you compile documents and access resources that will help you and your aging loved one plan for the future.
If your aging loved one doesn’t have a will or power of attorney document, you should help them figure out which document is right for them, and create that document while your loved one is still in good health and can clearly communicate. Home health services providers know that discussing these legal issues might feel uncomfortable, but the alternative is being unprepared for your loved one’s future and possibly getting their wishes or intentions wrong. Having these conversations sooner rather than later means that you can be sure you understand your loved one’s desires for their future.
Your elderly loved one might choose:
- An advance healthcare directive. Advance directives allow individuals to specify the types of medical intervention and long-term care that are to be made in the event they become seriously ill or disabled, such as home health services or particular live-in facility or service.
- A will and trust. Wills enable individuals to state how their personal assets will be split when they die. Trusts come in several forms, also counting a living trust. They are created to avoid probate, assist in estate and tax planning and provide care for a dependent family member.
- A guardian or conservator. A guardian has the legal right to make personal, financial and health care decisions for a designated person who is incapacitated. A guardian can choose where that person will live, as well as the type of medical treatment they will receive. A conservator manages the financial affairs of a person who is incapacitated. A conservator is in charge of the dependent person's assets, including investing, and he/she needs to handle them for the well-being of the protected person.
You can help your aging loved one by compiling all of their legal, financial, and identity documents in clearly marked files and organized in a central location. Documents you should keep in good order include financial documents, identity documents like birth certificates, marriage certificates, passports, and licenses, and real estate documents, like mortgages and property deeds.
Always consult a lawyer regarding your family’s specific needs.