To get power of attorney for elderly parents requires them to give authorization in front of a notary. In the case of Guardianship, you would need probate court approval, and it is a requirement to prove through medical statements that your elderly parents are incapable of caring for themselves. Phyllis and her family are keen to learn more about the health care power of attorney and how to easily obtain the necessary documents, making it possible to care for the needs of her mother-in-law.
The saying make hay while the sun shines could not be truer in the case of getting power of attorney sooner than later.
5 easy steps to make this happen:
Power of attorney generally means the person or elderly individual in need of such services would authorize one of their friends or family members to manage their finances and conduct business on their behalf. This document is also known as a durable financial power of attorney. A health care POA is one of 3 advance directives. A living will and health care proxy are the other two.
Essentially, there are four types of power of attorney legal documents:
This brings us to another question often asked.
As a whole, a power of attorney document is effective for the person's lifetime unless the person concerned chooses to revoke it. In most cases, though, the person who has been given power of attorney will be responsible for decisions until the elderly person passes away.
Phyllis and her family realized the importance of obtaining a power of attorney to comfortably take care of her mother in law's medical needs and finances. But, to do this correctly without any hiccups along the way, she needed to be sure about the power of attorney rights and responsibilities.
The attorney she approached to ease her mind gave Phyllis the low down of what the principal or her mom in law's rights are and what her rights would be as a representative.
The POA does not give the representative the right to:
You may have heard of Guardianship and wondered how it compares to the power of attorney. Isn't it the same thing? Let's have a look.
To put it in a nutshell, the key difference between POA and Guardianship is that the person concerned has the freedom to choose who they want to have power of attorney over their finances or health care and the actions that would be allowed. A guardianship, on the other hand is a court-appointed position.
Phyllis thought about it long and hard and did the necessary research to calm her mind and be sure she will choose the right option. In our humble opinion, the best choice with a lot less red tape involved would be settling for power of attorney for elderly parents.
The question as to which one (power of attorney vs. Guardianship) is better can be summed up as follow:
If your elderly parent is fully compos mentis (of sound mind) and agreeable to the idea, then your most logical step would be to get them to sign a power of attorney. This takes the form of a document to be signed or voluntarily by a competent person who understands what it would mean for them. In this regard, Phyllis' mother-in-law had no trouble signing the POA as her daughter-in-law demonstrated her trustworthiness as a fully capable and responsible individual.
If a parent is mentally incapable of deciding whether or not they should allow you to act on their behalf by means of a POA, a guardianship or conservatorship order may be necessary.
Does this mean that a person who is not of sound mind, for example a diagnosis of Alzheimer's or dementia, must automatically settle for Guardianship? Or is power of attorney still an option for them?
Once established that an elderly parent is in the early stages of dementia, it may still be possible to get what they would call a durable power of attorney since they have lost little mental capacity at this stage.
As they still have a significant amount of mental capacity, they can still make informed decisions regarding their healthcare and finances. As time goes by, they may lose their ability to make sound decisions related to complex issues regarding their health, for which a power of attorney health care would come in very handy. This simpler decisions still are well within their means for quite some time.
In this case, the person concerned can authorize a lasting power of attorney, which should be done with a lawyer to guarantee their best interests.
Aging can be a bittersweet experience. Watching our loved ones lose some of their independence and require assistance for day to day activities can be difficult. Remember the enjoyment of previous quality time and make the most of your future interactions. Y'all can still experience many wonderful years together. Getting a power of attorney for elderly parents is a wise decision. It will ensure the transition into a later stage of their life where they can no longer make their own decisions is as smooth as possible. Some uncomfortable conversations and a little preparation will go a long way.
That's all for today.
Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!