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If you are or will be caring for an elderly relative, it is critical for you to ensure that person has the proper estate planning documents in place that will enable you to provide the best possible care. Those documents include:

Durable Power of Attorney. This document allows a caregiver to handle the financial affairs of the care recipient if he or she is unable to do so themselves because of mental or physical incapacity. By having a durable power of attorney, you can avoid the timely and costly legal process of having to establish a guardianship for this purpose.

Will. A will is the last word on how property should be distributed, and also allows for the assignment of a guardian for any minor children. Without a will, the state will decide how the estate is distributed.

Healthcare Surrogate. The designation of a healthcare surrogate is essential as it allows you to decide on who can make healthcare decisions for you in case you are unable to do so. This document will also include a HIPAA release, which allows caregivers and others so designated to access healthcare information and discuss a care recipient’s medical needs with healthcare professionals.

Living Will. A living will allows you to communicate your wishes on end-of-life and life support medical care, and helps eliminate any confusion among family members about how you wish to be treated.

Revocable Living Trust. This instrument allows you to make important decisions about how assets are managed before and after death, provides protection against creditors of beneficiaries and can eliminate the need for probate.

The Flanigan Law Group provides Southern California residents with personal attention for estate planning, administration and litigation legal services. When disputes between families, arise, they are very successful in resolving legal estate issues quickly and efficiently while preserving financial and emotional resources. Contact the Estate Planning Lawyers at the Flanigan Law Group at 949-450-0042.