Tips for Understanding Elder Law and Legal Planning


Although we would like to think that we’ll always be able to take care of ourselves, we never know what each day will bring. Legal plans offer seniors and their loved ones security and peace of mind from knowing that whatever the future holds has already been taken care of.

Some of the most important and most commonly used legal documents, as noted by elder law attorneys and AARP, include advanced directives. Here are a few to consider:

  • Living Wills – A living will is a written legal document that states how you would like to be cared for if you become terminally ill, incapacitated or cannot communicate your health care wishes. A living will ensure that you receive the health care and treatments that you prefer, even if you are unable to communicate at the time. Living wills can also include end-of-life preferences.
  • Durable Power of Attorney – Naming someone your durable power of attorney (DPOA) gives that person the legal power to manage and make decisions about your care and finances, should you become unable to yourself. A DPOA is usually a spouse or trusted family member who understands your wishes and will make decisions that coincide with your best interests.
  • Living Trusts – Similar to a last will, a living trust allows you to pass on property after death. In order to do this, you must transfer the ownership and control of your assets to the trust during your lifetime. A trustee (either yourself, a chosen loved one or a bank) manages the assets put into the trust according to your directions. After death, your trusted assets are given to the beneficiaries you chose when creating the trust.

Legal Plans for Loved Ones with Dementia

If your loved one has dementia, it’s important to begin making legal plans with your loved one and an elder law expert as soon as they are diagnosed. This way, they will have the most opportunities to take part in the planning and make decisions for themselves.

An additional legal consideration for loved ones with dementia entails guardianship. Guardianship over a loved one who is mentally incapacitated due to Alzheimer’s disease gives you the right to make decisions about their living situation, health care and finances. Usually used as a last resort, guardianship is often the best solution if your loved one can no longer make safe decisions about their own well-being.

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late

Even for seniors in near-perfect health, legal planning should be a top item on their to-do list. Before a crisis makes getting your affairs in order a stressful, urgent matter, older adults should consider their elder law options for protecting their assets, finances and personal health for the future.

The Art of Living

At Tuscan Gardens® of Venetia Bay, we’ve mastered the art of living. We’ve perfected the balance of personalized support and an uplifting lifestyle, helping our residents experience independence, joy, and meaning every day.

Offering supportive independent living, assisted living and memory care services for families in Venice, Florida, Tuscan Gardens of Venetia Bay was founded with one simple, yet profound goal – to create a community worthy of our parents. In all we do, we are guided by the principles of family, culture, and engagement, working to represent the remarkable way of life our families deserve.

The essence of our community is made up not only of mere aesthetics but an artfully designed lifestyle to bring out the best of what each day has to offer. From dedicated care that respects residents’ individuality and dignity to a lifestyle that nurtures their love of life, Tuscan Gardens was built to be more than just a residence, but a place to call home.

To learn more about our comfortable, elegant community, contact us today!

Download Tip Sheet (PDF)