Do not wait too long to get certain documents in place, so your loved one can understand and sign as needed. Among these are:
- Power of Attorney (Healthcare and Finances)
- HIPAA Authorization
- Medical POA
- Advanced Directives
- Revocable Trust
These are often prepared by an eldercare attorney. When looking for such an attorney, if your friends and family do not have recommendations, I would suggest going to the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys where you can search by zip code: Find a Lawyer (naela.org)
When doing the actual selection, I would suggest a few tips:
- Initial consultation: Figure out the type of service that you think you are looking for and call to request a free consult. If you are clear and organized in your call, you should be able to get up to 30 minutes of their time for free. If they are unwilling to do so, try another. I suggest speaking to three attorneys before hiring one.
- Find out what they know: FTD is a specific form of dementia, and each state has specific regulations regarding power of attorney and other documents that I listed above. Select an attorney that has dealt with your specific situation.
- Is this the right fit: A lot of this is your gut. Are they professional? Do they respond timely? Do they speak WITH you rather than AT you? An attorney will not be cheap. One that you have to have repeatedly clarify things because they cannot speak plainly will cost you more.
- Check their background: Each state has a bar association website. You just want to make sure they are actively licensed and have no disciplinary issues.