Power of attorney can be a complex issue. Oftentimes, caregivers become the attorney-in-fact of their senior loved one. Here’s a quick guide to power of attorney, from the various types to the financial implications.
What Is Power of Attorney?
Power of attorney refers to the legal process that gives an identified agent or attorney-in-fact legal authority over someone else. This process is usually invoked when the senior no longer has the mental or emotional capacity to make legal decisions. As specified by the power of attorney document, the agent is given a range of legal and financial responsibilities on behalf of the senior.
When seniors develop serious health conditions, one or more family members often assume the role of attorney-in-fact so they can 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 Dayton, Ohio, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
What Are the Types of Power of Attorney?
There are four types of power of attorney relevant to family caregivers. The first type is general power of attorney, which only ends when the principal dies or revokes the power. Durable power of attorney remains in place even if the principal is incapacitated. Limited power of attorney designates the agent’s power to a specific field, like finances or healthcare. Springing durable power of attorney is only activated when a specified event comes to pass. For example, if your loved one is at risk for cardiovascular events, he or she might draft a legal document giving you power of attorney in the event of a heart attack.
Drafting a power of attorney is one of the many ways to ensure your loved one receives continual care if he or she becomes ill. Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Dayton, Ohio, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place.
What Sorts of Things Can an Agent Decide?
When a family caregiver is specified as an agent, he or she becomes responsible for making many important decisions for his or her senior loved one. Some power of attorney documents are focused exclusively on healthcare, some exclusively on finances, and some address both. In terms of healthcare, agents can decide what types of medical care the senior receives, what he or she eats, and where he or she resides. Financial agents can oversee investments, pay bills, file taxes, and make sure their loved one’s housing and healthcare are being paid for.
What Situations Necessitate a Power of Attorney Document?
Power of attorney documents are used for a variety of reasons. Some family members get temporary power of attorney when their loved one is traveling, which is often limited to financial decisions and expires when the senior returns home.
When seniors simply need a bit of help managing their everyday finances, like paying bills and filing taxes, they often execute a general power of attorney, which gives the agent power to make financial decisions but doesn’t render the senior powerless. The senior can still make financial decisions independently.
For specific financial transactions like purchasing a new car or selling a home, seniors often execute limited powers of attorney because it gives the agent the power to act on the senior’s behalf when faced with challenging financial transactions.
Take some time off your caregiving duties and consult a legal expert about powers of attorney. If you are the primary caregiver for a senior loved one in Dayton, respite care is available when you need time away from your important caregiving duties. At Home Care Assistance, our respite caregivers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help your loved one manage everyday tasks in the comfort of home while you have the chance to take a much-needed break. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your aging loved one, call us at 937-353-1412 today.