My Loved One Had To Go Into A Nursing Home Unexpectedly, Without Having Done Any Financial Preparation. He Is Not In A Condition To Make Financial Or Medical Decisions And Has No Plans In Place. What Can We Do At This Point?

There are only two things that can be done, if you have not already made the arrangements for a power of attorney or healthcare power of attorney. You will need to file a petition in the Probate Court to have someone appointed as a guardian and as a conservator for the individual. The guardian has control over the body of the individual, so he can make healthcare decisions. The conservator has control over the financial situation of the person, so they can access bank accounts and pay bills. These are fairly expensive procedures, costing at least $3,000 to $5,000, but they are necessary.

My Family Is Not Prepared For Health Emergencies Or Any Other Major Medical Events. Which Documents Should We Have In Place?

To prepare for any type of medical or healthcare emergency, you should have two documents in place. One is the living will or declaration of a desire for a natural death. This is the document where you state whether you want to be kept alive on a machine or not. The second document is the healthcare power of attorney. In that document, you make more detailed choices about organ donation, what kind of sustenance you want to be given, etc. Both of these documents are important and both will be filed with your doctors and the local hospitals.

The Parents Of Young Children Have Been In A Serious Accident And Are Unable To Make Decisions For Their Child’s Care. There Are No Legal Documents In Place. What Can Be Done To Ensure The Children Are Taken Care Of?

Children should immediately be placed in the care of a close relative, whenever possible. Then, someone will need to file a petition in Probate Court to be appointed as a guardian over the children until such time as the parents recuperate. In the unfortunate event of their death, the guardian would be in place until the child reaches the age of majority.

What Kind Of Crisis Planning Should We Have In Place, Should Our Parents Become Incapacitated Suddenly?

The most important document to have in place for your parents is the durable power of attorney. Each parent would sign his/her own document, usually selecting the other spouse first and then one of their children as agents to act on their behalf. Also, it would be appropriate to have a living will and a healthcare power of attorney in place, so that the agent could make choices in the healthcare of the parent appropriate with what the parent puts in those documents.

Is It Too Late To Save Their Resources, If A Loved One Is Already In A Nursing Home?

Unfortunately, it is too late once someone is in a nursing home and is receiving Medicaid. Once Medicaid or other government assistance programs are already in place, it is too late to separate the money that the incapacitated person owns into a different vehicle to protect it. Medicaid or other programs must be paid back first.

I’m Showing Signs Of Dementia And I’m Worried About Losing My Ability To Communicate. What Can I Do Now To Prepare For My Future?

You should immediately enter into a durable power of attorney to give someone you trust the authority to handle your affairs when you cannot. It would also be a good idea to prepare a living will and a healthcare power of attorney so that you can direct the kind of healthcare that you want to receive. Finally, you should prepare a will so that your estate will be passed to your heirs as you want it to be.

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