Caregivers are often tasked with making important decisions on behalf of their senior loved ones, ranging from the type of medical treatment they should receive to managing their financial affairs. A power of attorney is a legal document that empowers family caregivers to make these important decisions should the need arise. However, there are some crucial facts about powers of attorney you need to know before consulting a legal expert.
The Effect of Incapacity on a Power of Attorney
If you are concerned about your loved one becoming physically or mentally incapable of managing personal affairs independently, talk to your attorney about a durable power of attorney. Only a durable power of attorney remains valid if the principal (the person authorizing the other to act) subsequently becomes incapacitated or disabled. To be considered durable, the document must contain language specifically stating it will not be affected by any subsequent disability or incapacity on the part of the principal.
Creating a power of attorney is one of the many ways to ensure your loved one receives continual care and support if he or she becomes incapacitated. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Anchorage in-home care. Services our caregivers provide include transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
Springing vs. Non-Springing Powers of Attorney
A non-springing power of attorney goes into effect immediately. A springing power of attorney only goes into effect after a certain event occurs, such as the principal being declared incapacitated by a physician. It is important to note that some financial institutions are reluctant to recognize springing powers of attorney because of potential liability concerns.
Granting Power of Attorney to Multiple People
It is possible to assign power of attorney duties to multiple individuals. For example, one family member may be granted power of attorney over financial matters and another given power of attorney to make medical decisions. Having different people manage different powers of attorney can prevent one person from becoming overwhelmed by the responsibilities of making all the decisions. It is also possible to name co-powers of attorney, which would require the individuals to collaborate and agree on all decisions. Depending on the dynamics within the family, this option could cause significant disagreements and even lead to court battles.
Take some time off your caregiving duties and consult a legal expert about the different powers of attorney. If you are the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Anchorage, AK, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
Removing a Power of Attorney
Because a power of attorney involves managing sensitive financial and personal information, it is a position requiring the utmost trustworthiness. A person designated as power of attorney is under a legal obligation to act in the best interest of the principal. A power of attorney can be removed if the principal, a court, or a person appointed to oversee the principal’s affairs does not feel the power of attorney is fulfilling his or her obligation.
The Scope of a Power of Attorney
A power of attorney can be as narrow or as broad as needed. However, courts will not recognize any powers not specifically listed in the document, so it is important to discuss your situation with a legal professional to ensure the document will adequately address your loved one’s needs. It is also important to note that any authority granted by a power of attorney ends upon the death of the principal.
Having a power of attorney may prove insufficient in addressing a senior’s needs. Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Anchorage, AK, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver. To hire a professional in-home caregiver for your senior loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (907) 770-0907 today.