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5 Wrong Ideas You May Have About Power of Attorney

By , 12:06 am on

At some point in time, families might acquire a power of attorney (POA). This legal document allows an appointed individual to help an elderly loved one manage health and financial issues in the event the senior becomes incapacitated due to illness or injury. However, there are many misconceptions revolving around the process and the document. 

1. A Senior Needs to Be Incapacitated Before the Family Can Obtain a POA

Families cannot obtain a power of attorney without the approval of the older adult. Your loved one must be cognitively aware of the situation, and his or her signature is required on the document. Family members commonly make the mistake of waiting until their parent or grandparent becomes incapacitated before applying for power of attorney. When a senior becomes incapacitated, the family must then go through the court to obtain a conservatorship or guardianship.

Creating a power of attorney becomes important when an aging parent has been diagnosed with a serious health condition. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of home care. Scottsdale Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services.

2. Power of Attorney Can Be Obtained Over the Internet 

It’s fairly easy and inexpensive to obtain a power of attorney over the internet. However, a power of attorney document made online may be illegal in some states, and it could lead to several legal and administrative issues.

3. The Document Offers Complete Control

A power of attorney does not automatically give the appointed individual the right to act as he or she sees fit. By law, the document provides the ability to act in the senior’s best interest. If the agent fails to do so, he or she is in danger of legal action. To be safe, your loved one must carefully consider which family member or legal counselor has the integrity and maturity to use the document as the law demands. 

Creating a power of attorney for an aging parent can be a difficult task, especially if you have other important matters to tend to. Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Scottsdale senior home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

4. There Is Only One Type of Power of Attorney

Many people believe that a single power of attorney enables them to act in multiple situations. In reality, there are more than a dozen types of legal POA documents. Common categories include: 
• General POA – It provides the appointee with the ability to make all financial decisions on behalf of the senior. However, there is the possibility for abuse. 
• Limited or Special POA – The document empowers a person to perform specific acts during certain situations. 
• Springing POA – The agreement might become binding immediately after all concerned parties have signed the papers, or the legal authority may not take effect until a specific event occurs. Springing POA is also often referred to as Durable POA. 

5. Power of Attorney Is Effective Even After Death 

Once the senior dies, the POA ceases to give the appointee power over decisions. Someone must be appointed the executor of the estate to make legal decisions.

Consider taking a break from your caregiving duties to talk to a legal expert and find out all you can about the different powers of attorney. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Scottsdale respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at 480.448.6215 today.