When it comes to caring for an elderly parent, adult children are often faced with making many decisions, including judgments about healthcare and finances. Sometimes, when those decisions are so overwhelming or have to be made during a crisis, it’s hard to know where to begin.
Attorney Charles Pyke, who recently spoke about legal matters to guests attending a presentation at Wesley Woods of Newnan, advises children to be proactive when it comes to their aging parents.
“When my mother became ill, I was surprised by the number of things I didn’t know and for which I was unprepared,” he said. “What that experience taught me is that even though I’m in the legal industry and believed I had a good plan in place for my mother, I actually could have been more proactive in making that plan.”
Pyke shares two valuable tips that can help adult children plan proactively for their aging parents’ needs:
1. Make a health profile for your elderly parent, with as complete a medical history as possible. The profile should include:
• blood type
• complete list of medications
• list of allergies to medications, foods and other sources
• surgical history
• doctors’ names and contact information
• pharmacy name and phone number
2. Have access to your parents’ estate planning documents and make sure they are up to date. These documents include:
• advance directive or living will
• power of attorney
• will or living trust
Additionally, Pyke says that consulting an attorney who is certified in elder law can ensure that you will receive the most appropriate legal advice.
“A certified elder law attorney, or CELA, has passed the exam to achieve that certification and continuously works to maintain the designation,” he explained. “When you choose a CELA, you are selecting an attorney who has proven competency and experience with respect to issues that pertain to the elderly.”
Charles B. Pyke, Jr., is a founding partner of Pyke & Associates, P.C. and one of only nine Certified Elder Law Attorneys in Georgia. He is also the author of two books, A Will is Not Enough in Georgia and 38 Common Questions About Estate Planning. For more information, visit www.cpyke.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.