When it comes to elder care, there are various situations that require legal and financial documents, and these situations tend to be unexpected. That is why being prepared is critical. By proactively finding, organizing, and storing crucial documents, caregivers can prevent added stress and time when an incident arises with their aging loved one…or themselves.
At Torchlight, our goal is to make sure caregivers have all of the decision-making information and tools needed to manage their loved one’s affairs. Following is a useful checklist and outline for better preparing your employee caregivers and removing this area of concern.
Essential Legal and Financial Documents
If your employee is a caregiver for an older adult, he/she needs to know if certain legal documents exist in order to make financial or healthcare decisions on behalf of their loved one. If they do not exist, then your employee needs to know how to proceed. Many of our users express angst and stress regarding the legalities of healthcare and finances — two topics that people often find uncomfortable discussing.
There are five primary and essential legal documents, related to both elder care and their own personal planning, which we remind our users to check at the start of each year:
- HIPAA Release Form
- Health Care Proxy (Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare)
- Advance Directive
- Durable Power of Attorney for Finances
In addition to these five essential documents, an employee caregiver may need access to other information in the course of caring for their loved one. These include the following:
- List of bank accounts
- Pension documents, 401(k) information, annuity contracts
- Savings bonds, stock certificates , brokerage accounts
- Deeds to property
- Vehicle title
- Loan documents
- Credit accounts
- List of safe deposit boxes and the location of their keys
An employee needs to know whether these exist, where they are stored, and the names of the individuals appointed as agents for healthcare and legal decisions, should they be required.
Handling such conversations about the legal documentation associated with aging and ceding responsibility to others requires great sensitivity and guidance. It requires a well thought-out conversation with their loved one.
Providing easy to access to tools and private guidance for your employees to help have this important discussion with their older loved ones removes an important stressor from your employees’ days.
We invite you to download Torchlight’s tool, Vital Documents Checklist, to help your employees keep track of these documents, as well as other important paperwork.