Caregivers have an immensely difficult job. The state of Wisconsin recently approved funding that would help caregivers of children with autism get the training needed to prevent regression in the child.
Caregivers of senior citizens have their own unique challenges. Numerous laws exist to protect the rights of the cared-for party, and some caregivers face significant obstacles in doing their jobs. It is vital for anyone considering being a senior's caregiver to be aware of some of the legal issues that may arise during the process.
Estate administration problems
A caregiver may have several duties whilst managing a senior's estate. The most common include paying debts, distributing assets to beneficiaries and managing existing assets. Part of this may also entail managing the individual's will. The person should hopefully have one, but changes may be necessary, depending on changes to the person's circumstances. While the person is still of sound mind, it may be prudent to have the person create another estate planning document that may be more effective at administering the person's estate after death.
A caregiver should be ready for accusations of abuse, even if they do not have any truth to them. The senior's loved ones may be extra vigilant regarding the person's health and finances. Even if there is a logical explanation for what occurred, the caregiver may still need to fight charges in court.
Power of attorney
A caregiver is not the same as power of attorney. With this designation, someone has the right to make financial and/or medical decisions on behalf of the person if he or she is not of sound mind to make them independently. The senior may want the caregiver to have power of attorney, but some people want to give that to someone else. It is critical to have this tool in place before anything happens that would impact the person's ability to communicate effectively.