If your parents are getting older, it might be time to start planning for their final years. If part of the plans involve you stepping in as a primary caregiver, you need to make sure that you and your parents are protected against legal issues. As a primary caregiver, you're at an increased risk for legal problems, especially where other family members are concerned. Luckily, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your parents. Here are four of those steps.
Make Sure Your Parent Has A Power of Attorney
Now that you'll be assuming the role of primary caregiver for your aging parents, you need to make sure that they have powers of attorney forms prepared. Many people don't think about powers of attorney until it's too late. Unfortunately, that can cause serious problems. Before you take over the role of primary caregiver for your parents, have them sit down with an attorney to fill out the necessary paperwork. Having power of attorney over your parents will make it easier for you to handle their medical and financial needs. It will also prevent others from trying to take advantage of your aging parents.
File for Legal Guardianship Over Your Parent
If you need to take over as primary caregiver for your aging parents, but they failed to initiate powers of attorney before their cognitive abilities declined, you'll need to file for legal guardianship. Legal guardianship will allow you to make important decisions for your parents. This will include decisions regarding both medical and financial issues. Filing for legal guardianship over your parents will also help to avoid legal issues from other family members.
Hire an Accounting Service for the Assets
Now that you'll be responsible for your aging parents, you'll want to get professional help with their finances. This is especially important if you want to provide detailed financial records for other family members. Legal disputes often arise within families over financial discrepancies. You can avoid those disputes by hiring an accountant to handle the finances for your parents.
Seek Legal Advice From a Family Lawyer
Finally, if you want to protect yourself from legal disputes over the care of your aging parents, be sure to seek legal advice from a family lawyer. A lawyer can help you to create a care plan for your parents that will protect you from legal actions. A family lawyer can also help you to protect your parents' estate. Contact a family lawyer for more information.