New York elder care: estate planning just one issue to consider

People are living longer. While this is a blessing, it also means that, as an elderly parent or loved one ages in New York, there are a lot of arrangements to make, both legal and personal. From estate planning to Medicaid planning to power of attorney documentation, caregivers have many legal options contemplate and plan.

One of the first and most important things to consider is obtaining power of attorney for estate planning preparation well in advance. This could prove vital for a caregiver in the unexpected situation when a loved one becomes suddenly incapable of decision-making. If power of attorney has not been properly recorded with the county register of deeds and a loved one is declared incompetent, the caregiver may have to seek a court-appointed guardianship, a process with is costly and time-consuming.

Power of attorney for estate planning may be different from healthcare power of attorney, but both are important. If the caregiver has medical power of attorney or HIPAA authorization, he or she is permitted access to medical records and information. Healthcare and estate planning come together in regards to the issue of Medicaid planning. With a lawyer's guidance, it is possible to establish durable power of attorney and estate planning documents with sufficient gift powers can help preserve loved ones' assets while caregivers apply for Medicaid benefits on their behalf.

With all the legal nuances that go into Medicaid and estate planning when it comes to elder care, caregivers may benefit from contacting an attorney. A New York estate planning lawyer can offer insight into issues like power of attorney and advance healthcare directives. With caregiving for the elder often being a time-consuming job, a lawyer can provide the legal help and guidance to make it feel a bit less overwhelming.

Source:, "A Checklist For Caregivers Of The Elderly by Andrew Olsen", Andrew Olsen, Feb. 3, 2017

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