My mom lives alone. What legal documents do you recommend she have as she gets up in age?
The same legal documents YOU and anyone over the age of 18 needs: Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney for business matters, Health Care directives. Do you have yours?
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This is a great opportunity to be proactive. There are two essential documents anyone should have that relate to legal and medical issues if one becomes incapacitated:
- power of attorney for finance: this document names a person or persons to make financial decisions for you in the event you are unable.
- advance healthcare directive: names a person or agent to make medical decisions for you if you are unable. It can also address what kids of decision you want that person to make. In this way, the agent named has authority to make medical decisions AND knows what decisions to make. Along with the advance healthcare directive, one might consider having a Living Will, which addresses end of life decisions, specifically, if in an irreversible vegetative state, whether you would want to continue to be on live support or have it removed. Finally, there is one other medical document to consider called a Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment or POLST, which used to be called a Do No Resuscitate Order or DNR. This document would address end of life questions as well. Your mom would discuss this particular document with her doctor.
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