An elder law attorney helps seniors and families Having the essential legal documents in place gives you the necessary legal rights to provide the best care for your older adult, now and at the end of life. That’s why it’s so important to find an expert lawyer that you trust to draw up the right documents.
It’s vital to set up durable power of attorney for an elderly parent who has dementia before they experience significant cognitive decline, since it can be complicated to execute legal documents once a senior is deemed mentally incapacitated.
Why do my elderly parents need power of attorney? Your parents’ next of kin (a spouse, you, other siblings etc) cannot just take control of their finances or make health-related decisions. The only person who can do this legally is the nominated power of attorney.
What happens if there’s no Power of Attorney? If your senior doesn’t have any durable POAs and something happens to them, you may have to go to court to get the authority to handle their financial matters and make medical decisions on their behalf. During a health emergency, there won’t be time to do this.
Creating a durable power of attorney for finances — sometimes called a financial power of attorney — is a good idea for almost everyone with property or an income. It’s particularly important, however, if you fear that health problems may make it impossible for you to handle your financial matters.
AgeLab outlines very well the four types of power of attorney, each with its unique purpose:
The three most common types of powers of attorney that delegate authority to an agent to handle your financial affairs are the following: General power of attorney. Limited power of attorney. Durable power of attorney.
You cannot give an attorney the power to: act in a way or make a decision that you cannot normally do yourself – for example, anything outside the law. consent to a deprivation of liberty being imposed on you, without a court order.
What Are the Disadvantages of a Power of Attorney?
The LPA forms need to be signed by someone, apart from your chosen attorney, to state that you have the mental capacity to make an LPA. The forms also need to be witnessed. You then need to register each LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian. Either you or your attorney can do this.
A POA allows adults over the age of 18 to designate another adult to manage their financial and medical affairs if, because of health issues, they couldn’t. This can become particularly important, for instance, if a loved one would become incapacitated in any way because of a physical, mental, or cognitive condition.
Indeed a power of attorney is vital for anyone – regardless of age – who has money and assets to protect and/or who wants someone to act in their best interest in terms of healthcare choices should they be unable to make decisions for themselves.
A power of attorney allows an agent to access the principal’s bank accounts, either as a general power or a specific power. If the document grants an agent power over that account, they must provide a copy of the document along with appropriate identification to access the bank account.
A general power of attorney ends the moment you become incapacitated. A durable power of attorney stays effective until the principle dies or until they act to revoke the power they’ve granted to their agent. But there are a handful of circumstances where courts will end durable power of attorney.
Regardless of health, everyone should consider a Lasting Power of Attorney. Anyone over 18 can set it up – you don’t need to be unwell. Charity Age UK says: There’s no specific age when you should consider making a Power of Attorney.
General power of attorney With a general power of attorney, you authorize your agent to act for you in all situations allowed by local law. This includes legal, financial, health, and business matters.