When one of your older relatives shows signs of needing more help, you will most likely think of the day to day practical matters first such as dealing with medication and transportation options to get this loved one to physicians or the hospital.Caring Nurse Holding Hands

While these are certainly valid questions that should be addressed immediately, there are also other issues of elder care that need to accomplished over the long run and they are just as important. There are four primary steps that you can take to accomplish this goal.

Start Early

The best time to get all of your legal plans in order is before an unanticipated care event happens. This means while your loved one is still healthy and can talk more about his or her wishes and decisions before they actually have to be made. While this is not always an easy conversation to have, it can be extremely beneficial for avoiding problems in the future.

Cover All of Your Bases

Legal planning for an elderly loved one should focus on three primary areas. Making plans for the person’s property and finances, addressing healthcare and long term care issues and naming one or more individuals to help make decisions in the event that the family member is unable to do so.

Collect All Legal Documents

It might be a good time to update legal documents or to put existing ones into an organized fashion. These include advanced directives, financial documents about the person’s assets, and estate planning documents like powers of attorney, wills and trust and contact details for individuals that the loved one would like to name as a decision maker in the event that he or she becomes incapacitated.

Speak with an Elder Law Attorney

An elder law specialist is strongly recommended because there are many different issues that influence an individual who may need additional care. This is particularly true if you have questions about qualifying for Medicaid. An elder law specialist in Valdosta can help to answer all of these questions and to give you a pathway for accomplishing the remainder of your planning goals.