Legal Ways To Care For Your Elderly Parent

| Wednesday, November 2, 2011
By Julio Arrant

If your parent or parents are unable to properly care for themselves anymore, it is a good idea to set up care through legal means to ensure that their physical, legal and financial needs are met in the best possible way.

Your first step should be to find an attorney who specializes in elder care law in Arizona. This type of attorney will know the latest laws and recommendations and can help you through the maze of paperwork that often accompanies this process.

Prior to your first meeting with the attorney, sit down with your parents and discuss their needs, concerns and wishes. While discussions about the possibility of nursing homes, end-of-life care and funeral wishes aren't ones we look forward to, it is best to know what your parents truly want in regards to these issues. In fact, have them make a list of all of the issues they wish to discuss with their attorney. Your attorney will, no doubt, come up with a few more issues to consider, but at least you will have an idea about what you wish to discuss.

There are many different issues which will need to be addressed, but first it is a good idea to assess your parent's assets and collect and organize all of their important documents. This includes bank accounts, life insurance documents, automobile titles and other similar items. These items then can be placed in a trust, which can be prepared by your attorney. Your parent, of course, will still have access to the assets, but if the time comes when they are unable to make decisions, the trust will have a trustee that can dictate what happens to money and assets, according to your parent's wishes.

Another issue an attorney can help with is setting up Power of Attorney. Usually a spouse is the one who will make legal decisions for another spouse; however if there is no other spouse or if a parent wishes to have another person have Power of Attorney, then your lawyer can help with this process.

Sometimes you start the process of dealing with elder care after your parent is already to the point where he or she is not capable of making life decisions. This is when an attorney is especially needed, not only because your attorney is well versed in Arizona elder care law, but also because they help make the process less emotional and more straightforward.

Arizona has many elder care laws that have been created to protect the elderly, and your attorney can help you make sure that all the laws are followed in regards to your beloved parent. Talking to an attorney can help to make these stressful decisions a great deal easier and give you the peace of mind that you are truly doing what is best for your parent.

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