Individuals must take actions to protect their health and welfare as they age.  Indian Trail North Carolina elder law attorneys can explain the different situations a person may find themselves in if they do not take the precautions necessary to protect their ability to be treated with dignity as they age, regarding residential decisions, healthcare decisions, end-of-life decisions, and the safety of their assets.  

Guardianships. 

A guardian is an individual, or institution (such as a nonprofit corporation, or bank trust department) appointed by a court to care for an incapacitated person commonly referred to as a “ward.” Elder guardianship is one option when an individual has not appointed a formal power of attorney for health care, or finances, but needs someone to oversee their affairs when they become temporarily, or permanently incapacitated because of aging, illness and/or disability. A guardianship is a legal proceeding in the court system where a guardian is appointed to exercise the legal rights of an incapacitated person, but guardians are held accountable for actions taken on behalf of a ward.  

Elder Abuse. 

Hundreds of thousands of adults over the age of 60 are abused, neglected, or financially exploited every year, referred to as elder abuse. Abuse can occur in the older person’s home, a family member’s house, an assisted living facility, or a nursing home. A nursing home is bound by a resident’s bill of rights under federal law, so the abused party may be able to take clear action against abuse, whereas individuals living in their own homes, or that of other caregivers may be more at risk.  

Estate planning. 

Experienced North Carolina estate planning attorneys can assist by drafting relevant documents and offering legal guidance to individuals as they prepare estate plans.  Estate plans include a last will and testament, with guardianship if there are minor children, an advanced healthcare directive, and a durable power of attorney.

End of life decision making.  Indian Trail elder Law attorneys can assist in the drafting of a living will for their clients that addresses common end-of-life care decisions including:

  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), 
  • Mechanical ventilation,
  • Tube feeding, 
  • Dialysis , 
  • Antibiotics, or antiviral therapies,
  • Comfort care,
  • Organ and tissue donation,
  • Donating a body for scientific study.

Do not resuscitate – do not intubate. Elder Law attorneys can draft essential documentation, sometimes called a medical directive or advance directive, to cover an individual, or family members regarding medical power of attorney and do not resuscitate orders.  

Medicare and benefits. 

Seniors are eligible for certain government benefits after the age of 65, and individuals may become completely reliant on those benefits for survival in their golden years. Individuals who have been deemed to have too much money, or an expensive home with equitable value, are often excluded from specific health benefits and residential assisted living housing options. North Carolina elder law attorneys can be instrumental in the creation of trusts and other financial mechanisms that give seniors alternate fiscal options in their aging years.