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Care Planning Docs

A number of legal items are recommended in preparation of a loved one needing care later in life.

We have compiled this partial list of free online templates for things that are commonly used in eldercare planning.

For many legal items, it is necessary to use state-specific templates. Click on the links below for a list of state templates.

Power of Attorney

Durable Power of Attorney for Asset Management, often referred to simply as Power of Attorney, allows one to appoint another person (Agent) to act on their behalf in financial and other legal matters. The Agent cannot make any health care decisions.

Powers of Attorney can be drafted for certain specific transactions or more general matters. They can be effective immediately, or they can be triggered by a certain event, for example, lack of competency. If the Power of Attorney is triggered by the lack of competency, a doctor’s opinion is usually needed to attest to one’s lack of ability to make decisions before the Power of Attorney becomes effective.

An Agent is only able to manage assets in a sole person’s name (Principal), and assets in a trust are not affected.

The Agent under Power of Attorney can only act while the person is alive; after death, the Durable Power is void.

Advanced Directive for Health Care

Living Will is also known as Advanced Health Care Directive.  A Living Will provides the opportunity to give instructions on a person’s health care and specify what medical procedures the individual wishes to forgo in the case of a terminal illness. A person can always change their mind; they have the final word. But if they are unable to speak for themselves, a Living Will expresses their wishes.

Because of the privacy of health care records enacted in recent health care laws, Living Will also appoints an individual (Agent) who is designated to receive health care information and to make health care decisions should the patient be incapacitated or want someone to make healthcare decisions even though they are capable. It also allows a person to express their intent to donate bodily organs and tissues at death.

Living Wills give the Agent of a terminally ill patient the confidence that they are abiding with the patient’s wishes and avoid the agonizing indecision of contemplating what was wanted.


Only those assets that are titled in the trust are affected. One purpose of the trust is to avoid the publicity and delays of the Probate procedure associated with a Will. You do not have to submit the Trust to Probate Court on a person’s death.

Similar to the executor of a will, the trust appoints a trustee to oversee the administration of paying a decedent’s last bills and distributing the assets in accordance with the terms. Often used to withhold distributions for minors until they reach maturity, they are also used for complex tax reasons.

Trusts can be either revocable or irrevocable. Generally, the resources in a revocable trust are considered available to a Medicaid applicant. To determine how Medicaid will treat the assets in an irrevocable trust, it is necessary to understand the trust language, the applicable state laws, and the history of the trust assets. Eldercare Resource Planning offers a Medicaid Trust Assessment service to help families better understand how an irrevocable trust will impact their loved one’s eligibility and estate recovery.

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