Without proper legal authorization, there is only so much that family members and friends of an elder loved one can do to help. This is especially true if he or she needs assistance making sensitive health and financial decisions.
A power of attorney could be the answer. A power of attorney grants a designated person, known as the agent or the attorney-in-fact, the legal right to make decisions on the senior’s behalf. It is one of the most important legal documents adult children of elder parents need as they try to provide assistance, especially when elder adults are no longer capable of handling their own affairs.
Powers of attorney must be executed while the creator is mentally competent, and should only name a trusted confidant as an agent. If an elder adult does not have any such person available, do not put off meeting with an experienced estate planning and elder law attorney for legal guidance.
Not all powers of attorney are the same. The attorney can help construct a document that clearly defines what a trusted agent can and cannot do according to the senior’s wishes, thereby avoiding any future gray-area disputes.
A durable power of attorney is ideal for elder adults because these documents remain valid in the event that the elder individual becomes incapacitated or mentally incompetent. A durable power of attorney can allow a trusted agent to access bank accounts, investments, and property, in order to hire professionals and pay bills. This power may also include decisions about residential long-term care, such as assisted living, memory care and nursing homes, and even what an elder loves to eat, and who baths them when in the care of others.
We know this blog may raise more questions than it answers. Do not wait to let us know what your concerns are for your unique situation. We are your local community law firm here help you.