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Documents to Prepare With Your Older Loved One

Important paperwork and documents are markers of adulthood, and they become even more important as we age. While we should all strive to have our documents in order, the practice is critical as we grow older. 
We never plan to fall ill or become disabled, but it can happen to any of us. Older adults must have their affairs in order so that they and their families are as prepared as possible in the event of an emergency. 
Dealing with documents can be overwhelming for seniors, and as a caregiver or family member, you can help make the process much more manageable. Here’s what you need to know about helping your older loved one get their documents in order:

Types of Important Documents 

There are many different documents that seniors need to have sorted. Some of the most common include:

Financial Documents

  • Tax returns
  • Bank account information 
  • Pensions, 401(k), annuity contracts
  • Property deeds
  • Vehicle titles
  • Documentation of all loans and debts
  • Financial power of attorney

Personal Records

  • Social security number and card
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage license or divorce papers
  • Driver’s license
  • Passport or any other ID
  • Contact information for close friends, relatives, doctors, financial advisors, etc. 
  • A list and explanation of regular medications 
  • Legal documents including a will 

Health Care

  • Health care preferences clearly outlined in a living will 
  • Health care proxy/power of attorney
  • Personal medical history 
  • Health insurance cards 
  • Allergies or medical conditions
  • Emergency information 

End-of-Life Documents

Every adult should have documents in place regarding estate planning and end-of-life, just in case. This is even more urgent for older adults. Families of seniors who pass away without end-of-life documents will face more financial and legal chaos than they need to. Your older loved one should have:
  • Life insurance policy information
  • Trust documents
  • A will
  • End-of-life instructions

Store Important Documents 

Gathering important documents for your older loved one is only the first step. For the documents to be useful, they must be accessible. They should be sorted and stored in a master box, which should be kept in a safe place. When possible, create electronic copies that you can store on a save drive via cloud storage or an external hard drive. 
ComForCare is dedicated to helping seniors live their best lives at home. We are here to assist you and your loved one while getting important documents in order. No matter what level of care your loved one needs, our qualified, experienced team can help. Find your ComForCare caregiver today HERE
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