Caregiving Legal Basics: How to Get Started

caregiving legal basics

Being a caregiver means getting legal paperwork in order

When you’re caring for an older adult, an important part of the job is to make sure their essential legal documents are in order.

It’s easy to let this task fall to the bottom of your long To Do list, but getting the paperwork done before you need it will save you time, money, and headaches down the road.



Guide to caregiving legal basics helps you get started

Caregivers often put off the legal stuff because it’s confusing and it can be difficult to know where to start.

We found a helpful guide from ARAG that gives an overview of caregiving legal basics in plain language. It covers issues you’ll need to consider, like planning for when your older adult will need someone to speak for them, housing options, and end-of-life choices.

We like this guide because the information is broken up into sections so it’s easy to read and understand. We also like that the guide presents unbiased information that helps you understand which legal documents are needed, why they’re important, and how to get started.

caregiving legal basicsPage 4 of ARAG’s caregiver guide

The guide includes:

  • Checklists
  • Definitions of key terms
  • Suggested questions to help you start sensitive discussions
  • Tips on how to choose representatives, save on taxes, etc.


How the guide helps with important caregiving legal issues

This caregiver legal basics guide covers 6 sections. Here’s what each of them includes:

Estate planning

  • What an estate plan covers
  • Which documents are needed and why
  • A 6 step checklist for how to create one

Working with an attorney

  • What to expect from hiring an attorney
  • How they’ll work with your older adult and the family

Planning for incapacity

  • How a legal guardian could take over when someone is not able to make their own decisions
  • The process is for declaring someone incapacitated

Housing considerations

  • Checklists to help decide the best place to live

Other issues

  • Managing financial and insurance matters
  • Funeral planning
  • Tips to help caregivers care for themselves


Next Step  Get an overview of caregiving legal basics with  the Caregiving: An Overview free guidebook from ARAG


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By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: Our Aging Society


This article wasn’t sponsored and doesn’t contain affiliate links. For more information, see How We Make Money.


  • Reply August 11, 2017


    Caregiving: an overview Guide… I follow the link for this from I also searched for this guide. I cannot find it. Does the guide go by a different title? Has ARAG discontinued it?

    • Reply August 13, 2017


      Thank you so much for letting us know! We do our best to monitor for broken links, but sometimes one will slip through. We’ll contact ARAG to find out what happened to their guide.

    • Reply August 24, 2017


      Thanks for your patience! We’ve got a new (working) link to the Caregiving overview guide from ARAG. You should be able to download the guide now.

  • Reply January 11, 2017


    Great Post!

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