As you age, it's important that you have everything in order so that you can protect your assets and be sure that your family members are financially protected. It's also important that you have control over your own medical care even if you may not be of the mind to tell others what your wishes are. Elder law is an aspect of law designed to protect seniors as well as their caregivers so that these things can be handled through the proper legal channels.
Finances And Assets
The first thing seniors should do is draft their last will and testament. Sit down with a lawyer who can walk you through the process and make sure that you include all of the details. The will can be written or it can be oral, and will determine how your assets and finances are to be distributed upon your passing. Each state determines how a will can be carried out, which is why it's important to talk to an elder law attorney. They can help you navigate the laws of your state and make sure that you've included everything important so it can be distributed to the right people. You may need to have a witness present when you sign your last will and testament, so be sure to ask your attorney if this is required. You can also draft a living trust that will distribute your property or money while you're still alive. These trusts can be changed as you need them to be, and can also be completely rescinded if you choose. Get a power of attorney if you feel the need to assign your legal rights to a friend or family member. This will give them the ability to sign legal documents and handle your affairs on your behalf.
Medical Care Aspects
When you reach a point where you may not be capable of making medical decisions on your own, you can have a health care proxy drafted. This will allow your children or spouse to help make important and crucial medical decisions if you are unable to do so on your own. Keep in mind that every single detail must be written out specifically, which is why an elder law attorney is recommended. An example of an important medically-related legal document is a DNR, or "do not resuscitate." This document would allow your legal proxy to determine if you should no longer receive vital medical care in a serious health situation. It specifically states that you would not want to be revived in the event of something like a heart attack, severe cancer, or other life threatening problems. The purpose of the senior-related legal documents is to protect your interests as well as the interests of your family, which is why enlisting the help of a lawyer who specializes in elder law is so important.
To learn more, contact an elder law attorney like James M Snow.