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Facts About Power of Attorney

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A power of attorney (POA) gives a person the ability to make decisions for a senior loved one who cannot make decisions independently. Along with assigned duties, the person given the authority is also responsible for maintaining documents and records for various aspects of the older family member’s matters.

Types of Powers of Attorney

Durable Power of Attorney: The appointed individual accepts decision-making ability immediately after signing the document. The authority gives the individual the legal right to manage one or more areas of interest. 

Springing Power of Attorney: The family member assumes authority when a senior family member becomes seriously injured, ill, or mentally incapacitated. The responsibility might also take effect on a specific date or event. 

Non-Durable Power of Attorney: This type of POA assumes the responsibility of legal transactions in the event the senior cannot be physically present. However, the authority typically becomes null and void should the older adult become mentally incapacitated. 

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POA Responsibilities

General Power of Attorney: The responsibilities involved for someone with this type of POA covers a broad range of powers. The individual might handle financial matters, legal matters, and make medical decisions. A general power of attorney is often appointed to manage the estate and financial matters in the event of a senior’s death. 

Special Power of Attorney: The authority given in this type of POA involves assigning special duties to be performed on behalf of the senior, such as managing or selling real estate. Other responsibilities might entail collecting debts, handling business transactions, or making medical care decisions. 

Health Care Power of Attorney: The responsibilities involved specifically include making decisions concerning medical care for an older adult if he or she becomes mentally incompetent or is rendered unconscious. 

Being aware of these facts about power of attorney can help you understand your responsibilities. For some families, caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Palm Desert, CA, respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities.

Choosing a Power of Attorney 

Seniors must choose a trusted family member or another individual to take the role of POA, as the person appointed will handle various personal affairs. Characteristics of a potential power of attorney should include: 

  • Sharing the senior’s values and vows to act in his or her best interest
  • Ability to pay attention to details
  • Willingness to make the commitment and comprehend the duties involved
  • Possible background in business or finances
  • Ability to work with accountants, attorneys, healthcare providers, and other professionals

Obtaining a POA

The senior and the chosen family member typically visit an attorney experienced in estate and financial planning to create the necessary paperwork. This is the most conventional option. 

Family members can also go online to obtain legal services. However, you must take completion and delivery time into consideration. Some services may submit the documents to a paralegal for review before they are ready and put into effect. Online services may also cost more. Whichever avenue family members decide to take, the finished documents must be notarized by a public notary. Notaries are often found in banks and government or legal offices.

One of the ways seniors can benefit from powers of attorney is by allowing family members to make decisions regarding home care. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a home care provider Palm Desert, CA, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. To hire a professional caregiver for your aging loved one, call us at (760) 345-0001 today.