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3 Legal Documents Caregivers Need

As a caregiver, you want to make sure that the person you're caring for is as comfortable and healthy as possible. But that may not be possible if you don't have a few key legal papers. In a worst-case scenario, you might be forced to fight for guardianship in court, a time-consuming and costly process that you can avoid by preparing these simple documents.

Power of attorney

A power of attorney is a legal instrument that allows someone else, called an "Attorney In Fact," or your agent, to act on your behalf. A power of attorney gives the Attorney In Fact the authority to act for you regarding important matters such as selling your real estate, signing checks, paying your bills, and making purchases, making medical decisions, and transacting other business.

There are several types of powers of attorney. Each type grants a certain degree of authority and each has it's own functions.

Health-care proxy

A health-care proxy is also called a medical power of attorney. A health-care proxy enables you to make health-care decisions for someone else. It is important to have a health-care proxy, regardless of age. This is true because you can't predict when you will have a medial accident or medical emergency.

HIPAA authorization

HIPPA stands for Health Information Portability and Accountability Act. HIPAA keeps your health information and records private. This is important because unless you authorize in writing someone else to receive your health information, your doctors aren't obligated to share any details about your health.

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