No one wants to consider the possibility that he or she might one day become incapacitated. Many Georgia residents will find themselves in need of assisted-living care this year. Adult children and other patient advocates will likely try their best to help their loved ones or clients develop elder law plans that protect their financial interests and provide for their medical health, as well.

An advance care directive is a valuable tool that can be used to make preparations in case of incapacitation. By signing this document, an elder can implement instructions as to what type of care he or she wants or does not want if a life or death situation arises and he or she is unable to act. A power of attorney is a similar document that allows someone to make financial decisions on one’s behalf.

In addition to health care, Social Security issues are another common elder law topic. It is helpful to discuss patient rights and hospital care, especially with regard to Medicaid or Medicare, with someone who is well-versed in elder law issues. Estate planning and long-term care planning often intersect, and an attorney experienced in both can provide guidance to elders or family members who are caring for them.

It can be sad, as well as stressful to witness a parent’s mental or physical decline. The better prepared he or she is ahead of time regarding legal issues, the less stressful it might be if incapacitation or another health care issue occurs unexpectedly. Any Georgia resident with questions about such topics can schedule a consultation with an experienced elder law attorney for support.