Caregiving Legal Basics: Essential Documents and Tasks

This straightforward free guide gives an overview of caregiving legal basics and helps with important legal issues related to caregiving

Being a caregiver means getting legal paperwork in order

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

But when you’re caring for an older adult, an important part of the job is making sure essential legal documents are in order.

That allows someone to help with financial or medical decisions when necessary.

Getting the paperwork done before it’s needed will save time, money, and headaches down the road.

To help you get started, we found a helpful free guide from ARAG that gives an overview of caregiving legal basics.

It uses simple and straightforward language to cover key issues like planning for when your older adult will need someone to speak for them, housing options, end-of-life choices, and more.

We explain what’s in the guide and how it helps with important legal issues related to caregiving.




Guide to caregiving legal basics helps you get started

We like this free guide because the information is broken up into sections that are easy to read and understand.

We also like that it gives unbiased information that helps you understand which legal documents are needed, why they’re important, and how to get started.

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.


caregiving legal basicsPage 4 of ARAG’s caregiver guide


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

Other issues


Next Step  Get a free guide to important caregiving legal basics from ARAG


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By DailyCaring Editorial Team


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


  • Reply May 20, 2020

    Phyllis Denison

    I am a Notary Public in AZ, so this article was of interest. One issue that is important is to be certain to obtain forms for End of Life – POA, Advance directive, will, etc. from the state of residency. Each state is a bit different regarding these issues. I also have been called to help a family where the husband/father is really not completely cognitive and at that point, I can’t help. An attorney should be one who specializes in elder law. Most states, I think, as here in AZ, have End of Life packets containing the necessary forms. One thing I will not notarize is signatures on a hand drawn will.

  • 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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