Programs that provide information and guidance for individuals who need assistance in the area of law which relates to the rights and needs of older adults, especially in the areas of age discrimination, consumer fraud, estate planning and management, living trusts, trust administration, probate, property law, retirement planning, pension benefits, income security programs, health care and medication needs, disability planning, long-term care alternatives, health care decisions, elder abuse, guardianships and conservatorships.
Programs that offer a review of options and assistance to people who want to provide for the administration and/or protection of their assets during their lifetime, develop a plan for managing their finances in the event of a disabling illness, prepare binding instructions for the health care they wish to receive or avoid should they become terminally ill, make arrangements for the disposition of their assets with a minimum amount of taxation upon their death and provide for the administration of their estate should their spouse or other beneficiaries be incapable of managing their affairs. Estate planning provides an opportunity for individuals to make their wishes known and to name the person(s) who will be responsible for carrying out those directives. Tools available during the estate planning process include a Last Will and Testament, durable power of attorney for health care, durable financial power of attorney and a directive to physicians such as a living will, natural death directive or other document recognized by the province. A revocable living trust may also be appropriate in some circumstances.
Programs that provide assistance for people who are involved in proceedings that deal with the establishment of decedents' wills, the settlement of decedents' estates or the appointment of a guardian or conservator for adults or children who are unable to manage their own affairs.
Programs that offer an interactive decision support process that helps individuals in need of long term care and their families understand their strengths, needs, preferences and unique circumstances and weigh the pros and cons of available alternatives. The consultation includes a discussion of the factors to consider when making long term care decisions, information about the range of long term care support options available in their community (such as personal care, transportation and medication management) and resources that can help them pay for services. The program also provides decision support to help identify next steps in the process and help in connecting with services, if needed. The service is generally available to older adults and adults of any age who have a disability; can be of benefit to people using their own resources to pay for services; and may be provided over the telephone or in person (at home, at an agency, in a hospital, at a rehabilitation or nursing facility or in another setting of the person's choosing). The objective of the program is to allow people to live as independently as possible in the setting of their choice.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.