Now that you’ve received a diagnosis, you should start thinking about planning for the future if you haven’t already. Taking the time to make decisions about matters that will affect your health care and your finances when you can no longer manage them is one of the most important steps you can take for yourself and your family.
There are a number of legal and financial documents that will help you formalize your plans and wishes such as:
Durable Power of Attorney
In this document you appoint a person you trust to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf, if you become unable to do so for yourself.
Health Care Proxy
In this document you appoint a person to make medical decisions on your behalf, if you become unable to do so for yourself. It’s important that you speak with the person you appoint about the kind of medical care you would or wouldn’t like so that they can carry out your wishes.
Some people also want to make a Living Will in addition to having a Health Care Proxy. In this document, you can state your wishes about end-of-life care.
Last Will & Testament
The purpose of this document is to designate how your assets will be distributed after your death. This will must be completed with the assistance of an attorney.
Professionals such as elder law attorneys, geriatric care managers, and social workers can be hired to assist you in handling your legal and financial affairs. Also, we host Legal and Financial Seminars three times a month where you will hear elder law attorneys talk about these matters. If you decide to attend a Seminar, we recommend that you bring a family member or friend along with you.
Care Partner Tip
During the early stage, a person is generally capable of understanding and making decisions about their future. It’s important to discuss legal and financial matters with them, if they want to be involved.