Bakersfield, CA asked in Elder Law for California

Q: What's the best document to have so i can make financial decisions for my parents?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman
  • Elder Law Lawyer
  • San Mateo, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If your parents are mentally competent, they should execute durable powers of attorney that would allow you to act on their behalf. As well, they should have advance health care directives that allow you, or whomever they choose, to make medical decisions for them in the event they are unable to make those decisions themselves. While you can find these documents for free on the Internet, none of those free documents contain the type of language that is needed in the event your parents ever need to qualify for Medi-Cal, and you need to accomplish that for them. Typically, the cost of seeking professional help to create a complete estate plan before a crisis, which includes these documents, is far less than fixing it once the crisis occurs. If your parents are elderly, it is best to find an estate planner that focuses their practice on elder law, as they are more familiar with issues of qualifying for governmental benefits.

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