If you are concerned about how to get power of attorney for elderly parents, then you are in the right place. However, before we dive deep into the guide, let’s take a look at what a power of attorney is and why it is so important.
A power of attorney is a legal document that permits you to make crucial decisions about the properties and other important assets owned by your parents. The power may be granted to you immediately after legalizing the said document or when your parent is unable to take care of the assets on their own.
The importance of power of attorney comes into light when you consider the assets and other financial deals owned by your parents. The document might grant you the whole rights, or in some cases, the rights would get equally divided between you and your siblings.
Often, people go for power of attorney when their parents are unable to look after the assets on their own. However, you can get one even when your parent(s) is/are in a great health condition, and this is what we are going to discuss in the following guide. It is also important to consider that this is the age where your parents might want focus on more relaxed things than having to deal with finance and other things. We also have beautiful picks for gifts for elders like ones your mom might love.
How To Get Power Of Attorney For An Elderly Parent
Here is a step-by-step guide that will help you relieve your tension and familiarize you with the whole process of attaining power of attorney for your parents. Before we begin, you should know that there are two types of power of attorney that you can get for your elderly parents.
- The medical power of attorney
This can be termed as a durable power of attorney for healthcare needs. It entrusts a person with the medical care needs of their parents and can be granted to either you or a professional caregiver.
- The financial power of attorney
This document is the durable power of attorney for financial assets. It gives you full power over your parent’s properties/wealth and permits you to look after these assets when they are unable to do so.
This guide mainly deals with the financial power of attorney and how to obtain this document legally.
Step By Step Guide To Get Power Of Attorney For Your Elderly Parent
1. Explain The Concept And Its Need For Your Parents
Before you initiate any legal procedures to get a power of attorney, explain to your parents what it means and how it is beneficial to them. Without their approval, it won’t be easy to gain the document.
If they have assigned you to look after their properties or financial assets, explain how a power of attorney would ease your job and provide them mental peace. Also, try to describe the implications of not having a power of attorney.
2. Obtain Written Authorization From Your Parents
Once you have convinced your parents about the need for a power of attorney, it is time to get a written authorization from them, explaining the authority granted to you and the terms on which it is granted.
You can either go for an online template or write an authorization letter of your own. Once printed, read out the terms and conditions mentioned in the letter. Explain to your parents the extent of control that will be granted to you once the document is legalized.
No matter how broad or limited your power is, your parents have every right to know what’s included in the letter. This step is crucial for avoiding any future implications.
Get the letter signed in the presence of a valid witness. The witness could be a family member or anyone that can be considered a witness according to the laws of your home country.
3. Mention The Parties Involved
While preparing the letter, mention the parties involved. The people who grant you the power, which in this case are your parents, are the principal party.
The person to whom your parents grant the power of attorney can be described as the agent. In this case, you are the agent (also known as attorney-in-fact).
It is also possible to grant the power of attorney to multiple persons. This is usually done when there exists a dispute between the siblings.
A power of attorney with multiple agents can be complicated as the authority granted to one person will be governed by the other agents, as well. In short, the powers would be limited.
4. Mention The Activation Date
Clearly mention the date from which the power of attorney would be effective. Some parents draft and legalize a power of attorney well in advance. However, the date of effectiveness marks the day from when the document will be useful for its agents.
Usually, the date starts when a doctor declares that the principal party is no longer able to make certain decisions.
5. Mention The Date Of Termination
Another important factor that should be clearly highlighted in the document is the date of termination, usually set according to the principal party’s liking
Sometimes, the agreement might end when the principal party is incapacitated. Other times, the party sanctions lifelong validity for the document.
In either case, the date of termination marks the end of the effectiveness of the document. So, make sure you enter a date that benefits both the principal party as well as the agents.
Once the power of attorney is sanctioned, from the date of activation to the date of termination, you are wholly responsible for the principal party and their assets.
So, we have just decoded how to get power of attorney for elderly parents. Power of attorney is a valuable document that eases your job of looking after the financial assets of your father/mother. The document might get misused at times. In such cases, you will have to move to the court to get it revoked.