Many family caregivers eventually end up in a situation where their senior loved one might need to give someone power of attorney. Setting up a power of attorney arrangement while your loved one is still capable of making decisions independently can make his or her later years more comfortable and convenient. Here are five important things families need to understand about power of attorney.
It Gives More Than Just Legal Power
If your loved one appoints someone to be his or her attorney-in-fact, that person can manage your loved one’s personal, financial, and medical affairs. Once a power of attorney is finalized, the attorney-in-fact can appoint a guardian for your loved one, make financial decisions, gift his or her property to others, decide on healthcare or stop treatment, or consent to medical procedures.
If you need time to prepare an important legal document but you can’t leave your senior loved one alone at home, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Flower Mound home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
Power of Attorney Is Not Always Instant
Many seniors want to delay appointing someone else as their attorney-in-fact because they still feel capable. However, if your loved one is not mentally and medically competent, it is much more difficult to transfer power of attorney to a trusted individual. It is possible to create a power of attorney document that does not actually go into effect until certain provisions have occurred, such as a doctor declaring your loved one incapacitated.
More Than One Person Can Have Power of Attorney
Being the attorney-in-fact for a senior can be an exhausting and overwhelming task, so it may make sense to divide responsibilities in some cases. Seniors with multiple children often name all of their children in a power of attorney document. However, it is important for the people designated as attorney-in-fact to be willing to work together.
Being Specific Is Important
Seniors should work with their attorneys to create a detailed power of attorney document so they can avoid conflicts and other difficulties. A good power of attorney document should specifically authorize the attorney-in-fact to do anything the senior desires, and it should also restrict the attorney-in-fact from doing anything the senior does not require. For example, if your loved one wants the attorney-in-fact to make financial gifts for estate planning purposes, mention this and specify the amount of any gift.
In addition to needing help with finances, seniors also often require assistance with daily tasks. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Flower Mound seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
Everything Should Be Documented
Adequate documentation ensures your loved one’s wishes are carried out. Many families do not think about things like videotaping their loved one deciding to sign a power of attorney document, but this sort of documentation can prove he or she was competent and willing to sign over power of attorney. Once a person becomes attorney-in-fact, he or she should document all of his or her actions on behalf of the senior in case the actions are called into question by other family members or friends. Even if you have a good relationship with all family members, it is important to be cautious.
When drafting a power of attorney, it’s also important to ask your loved one if he or she prefers to age in place. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Flower Mound, Texas, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. If your aging loved one wants to enjoy a high quality of life in the comfort of home, call us at 972-468-6010.