As people are living longer, more and more of us are finding ourselves faced with caring for our aging parents. There are a number of important considerations and steps that can be taken by people as they age that can greatly ease this transition. An experienced and caring lawyer can be an integral part of your family’s plan.
The sooner families address the realities of aging and plan for it, the better. All too often, people will put off or fail to understand the changes that come with the aging process. The time to talk with a long-term care lawyer and make plans is while health and mental faculties are still good. Strokes and illness can occur suddenly and without warning. Cognitive degeneration can sneak up on people. Most of the effective tools for elder planning require that the person still be mentally competent to execute. Once this status lost or comes into question, options become much more limited.
Wills deal solely with the disposition of a person’s property once they die. How do we protect and advance the interests of an older loved while they are still alive? One vital tool is a Durable Power of Attorney. A Durable Power of Attorney prepared by an experienced lawyer and properly executed will enable a trusted person to be named as attorney in fact to handle business and personal affairs. Once executed, this Power of Attorney can be used to so long as the person lives, regardless of any physical or mental deterioration that may occur later.
Many people ask about living wills. These are also known as Advanced Directives, Declarations of Desire for Natural Death and Appointments of Health Care Agents. While a person is still competent, they can execute these instruments to insure that their wishes are known if they are ever later determined to be in a persistent vegetative state or brain dead. In conjunction with this directive, they can appoint a health care agent to have the responsibility of carrying out these wishes. Many people find a tremendous peace of mind with these documents knowing they have taken a great burden off their loved ones.
These are just two of the many areas where The Doyle Law Offices, P.A. can help. We have been helping families plan for and protect their aging loved ones since 1995. Call us today at 919-228-4487, or fill out the form below.