A power of attorney is a legal document that gives an individual the ability to act on behalf of another. It allows a senior to choose who will act in their place should they be no longer able to make decisions for themselves. This would allow you the ability to do things like discuss and direct healthcare decisions, pay bills, or speak in court on their behalf, depending on the specifics of their documents.

To cover all the important issues, more than one power of attorney document will most likely be needed.

A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care allows an individual the ability to make decisions regarding health care needs. Depending on the specifics of the situation, this allows an individual to help direct the medical care their aging loved one needs. For example, if your mother became ill and was no longer able to make healthcare decisions, as her healthcare agent you would be able to coordinate with her healthcare team to make decisions on her behalf, such as what medication she would receive or where she would be treated.

Financial Power of Attorney allows for the ability to make financial decisions on behalf of your loved ones. This can account for things such as paying medical or household bills, filing taxes, opening or closing bank accounts, applying for public benefits, or managing property. This can be important to have in place before a parent becomes ill or injured, to ensure that their assets are protected.

A Durable Power of Attorney is a comprehensive document that allows an agent to make all financial and medical decisions unless the individual decides to revoke it. If a senior has experienced situations such as significant cognitive decline from dementia, ends up in a coma, or is otherwise incapacitated, a durable power of attorney remains in place to make decisions for them.

There are many reasons why an aging adult may need to have a power of attorney in place. If your parent or loved one is experiencing cognitive decline, it can be crucial to set these plans in place before they are deemed mentally incapacitated. Other medical issues such as illness or impending surgery can ensure that a senior’s wishes are protected in case of an emergency. Having a power of attorney in place can also settle disagreements among their children about end-of-life decisions.

While there are options to do-it-yourself, it’s a good idea to have a lawyer help draft documents to help meet your family’s specific needs. Everyone’s needs are different so having an elder law attorney can help address these for you. Our team works with a trusted network of attorneys to ensure that your aging parent’s needs are protected.

No one expects emergencies to happen, but it’s important to make considerations before it’s too late. Starting conversations about elder care planning can be difficult and there are steps you can take to make the process more harmonious for everyone. Give us a call at 877-337-0922 or email us at cassandra@infinitycaremanagers.com” today to find out how we can help navigate your family’s needs together.