Powers of Attorney and Helping Care for Elderly Parents
Introduction: What is a Power of Attorney? (POA)
Powers of attorney are documents giving someone you trust the right to make decisions for you if you become incapacitated. Incapacitated means your can’t communicate or understand. POA stands for “power of attorney.”
The person making the power of attorney is the principal. The person given authority is the agent.
A power of attorney agent is someone who has the legal responsibility to act on your behalf. Regarding health care; an agent uses a medical power of attorney when they have the responsibility to act on behalf of the principal in matters relating to health care. Likewise, an agent uses a financial power of attorney when they have the responsibility to act on behalf of the principal regarding financial matters.
Powers of attorney can assist in managing an elder’s finances, medical care, and other personal affairs.
What are the Benefits of Having a Power of Attorney for Elderly Parents?
The benefits of having a power of attorney for elderly parents are:
- Providing peace of mind for a child who is providing care for their parent and it also allowing them to focus on their own needs.
- Preventing a family member from becoming a legal conservator or guardian when they don’t have the capacity or desire to take on this role.
- Saving money by avoiding the costly court process of conservatorship and guardianship.
- Allowing a child who has been court appointed as guardian or conservator to delegate some tasks.
When to Use a Powers of Attorney?
An adult child wanting to take care of their aging parents; can use the financial and medical powers of attorney in the following ways:
- Deposit and withdraw funds from bank accounts.
- Pay bills.
- Cash checks.
- Buy and sell real property.
- Sign legal documents .
- Sell or invest in stocks or annuities.
- Manage retirement accounts.
- Pay and manage Insurance accounts.
- Manage services such as utilities.
- Obtain personal services such as housekeeping, therapy, or memory care.
Conclusion: The Importance Of Having A Powers Of Attorney In Place For Your Elderly Parents
When you’re an adult child, it’s difficult to think about what might happen if your parents are no longer able to make decisions for themselves. Having a power of attorney in place for your elderly parents is not only essential for their well being, but also gives peace of mind for yourself. It prevents court proceedings and allows parents the freedom to age in place as well as prevent elder abuse.
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