If you have elderly loved ones who are in need of home care, you might also need the ability to make legal, financial, medical, and business decisions on their behalf. To protect them and their interests, obtaining power of attorney rights is the first step to being able to advocate on their behalf and support them for whatever lies ahead.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is a legally binding document that gives a trusted individual the authority to make decisions on behalf of another person. It must be signed by a competent adult, known officially as “the principal.” The person designated to act in the principal’s best interest is known as “the agent.” The agent then has the power and control to protect and support the principal – or, in this case, your parent or elderly loved one. 

Does My Parent Need a Power of Attorney?

It can be hard to know whether your loved one might need a power of attorney, especially because it needs to be signed while they are still deemed as a competent adult, so they need to have full cognitive ability. For those with degenerative illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s, that means you may need to act in advance.

Your loved one’s doctor will be able to offer some advice as to whether they may need someone else to make important decisions for them down the line. Although it’s difficult to think about, it’s important to think about and discuss these topics with your loved ones in advance, to make things easier down the line.

If it gets to the point where the elderly person in question can no longer be called a competent adult, such as with advanced stages of dementia or other diseases, getting a power of attorney can be made more difficult, although not impossible.

How Can I Obtain a Power of Attorney?

If you and your loved ones decide to get a power of attorney, the first cause of action is to find an attorney that specializes in elder law. They will be able to best advise you on your course of action. There are different forms of a power of attorney, including limited power of attorney, which only gives power for a certain amount of time, medical power of attorney, that only offers control over medical issues, and so on.

Once the plan is established between all parties, the process of how to obtain a power of attorney will then be led by your attorney. They will put together a document clearly stating your rights as a power of attorney and how that will affect the principal, your elderly loved one. You can find basic templates of these documents online to see what kind of points will be included.

The final step is to execute the document. That means that both you and your elderly loved ones would sign it with two witnesses present. Once the document has been finalized, you can rest easy knowing that your parent or loved one will be taken care of, no matter what. 

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As you navigate this challenging stage of life, rely on the team at Best Care to provide helpful information! Browse our website to find more helpful resources.