Managing a loved one’s transportation, medication, and daily activities can be daunting enough – but often it also means managing their finances as well.
As people age, they often find it difficult to do things that they could once do with simple ease- like math moralizing sentence structures. Similarly, money management skills may begin to decline as well. No one wants to think of a time when their loved ones will need help taking care of themselves, but it’s crucial to have these types of conversations before an unforeseen event takes place. That way decisions can be made based on what the elderly person would want, rather than what others think is best for them
A power of attorney is a legal document that allows a principal to designate an agent to act on their behalf if they become incapacitated. The role requires the agent to put the principal’s interests first, which is why you and your loved one should pick someone you can trust. The following are some of the matters for which the agent has the authority to make decisions, in addition to others:
- Make sound financial choices
- Giving gifts of money
- With a healthcare proxy, you can pre-determine your medical decisions if you are unable to communicate them yourself. This includes giving someone the authority to consent, withhold, or stop any medical treatments, services, or diagnostic procedures on your behalf. (It’s important to note that your loved one can also appoint a separate “health care power of attorney” if they wish to give this power to another individual.)
- Make a recommendation for someone to serve as a guardian.
The following four types of power of attorney serve distinct purposes:
General Power of Attorney. In this case, the agent may do practically everything as the principal, such as establish financial accounts and manage personal funds. When the principal is incapacitated, loses his or her power of attorney, or dies, a general power of attorney arrangement is terminated.
Durable Power of Attorney. An enduring clause in this arrangement allows someone to act on the principal’s behalf and includes a person who will take action after the principal becomes incapacitated.
Special or Limited Power of Attorney. In the situation at hand, the agent has particular responsibilities that are restricted to a specific location. A power of attorney, for example, gives the agent authority to sell a property or other real estate in your absence.
Springing Durable Power of Attorney. A “springing” power of attorney is available in some states, and it becomes effective when a specified event occurs—for example when the principal becomes incapacitated.
It’s best to have these talks when your loved one is in good spirits since you’ll be able to figure out their financial security and healthcare wishes should they become unable to make their own decisions.
By consulting an elder law attorney, you and your loved one might get assistance with the power of attorney concerns. The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys can assist you in locating a local expert in your region.