Power of attorney documents can be useful for making sure your aging parent gets the care he or she needs. In theory, these documents can ensure these needs are met even after your parent is no longer capable of taking care of him or herself. However, there are a lot of myths about powers of attorney that can be quite confusing. Make sure you don’t get mislead by these five common misconceptions.
1. It’s Okay to Sign a Document Printed Off the Web
Technically, it may be possible to draw up a power of attorney document by copying a random legal document you found online. However, these are often inaccurate and easily invalidated. Going to a lawyer and getting a document drafted ensures the document meets all local requirements, has the proper signatures, and contains all relevant details.
2. All Power of Attorney Documents Are the Same
People often use the phrase “power of attorney” to describe some type of general document that lets one person make legal and financial decisions for another. However, a person only has the powers specifically listed in the individual document. For example, an attorney can set up a document that only lets a person make power of attorney decisions for real estate matters, which is why you will need help from an experienced lawyer when making a power of attorney.
Older adults often develop serious health conditions that require someone to make decisions on their behalf, including the decision to hire an in-home caregiver. 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. Altamonte Springs 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.
3. A Durable Power of Attorney Lasts Past Death
Many people get confused about the difference between a durable and normal power of attorney document. A durable power of attorney is still valid if the person is declared mentally incapacitated. No type of power of attorney document will let an agent continue making decisions for another person after death. Once the person dies, matters will be regulated by his or her will or standard inheritance laws.
4. You Can Get Power of Attorney After a Senior Is Declared Incompetent
Many people think the perfect time to create a power of attorney document is once the senior is declared incompetent. However, seniors cannot sign a binding legal document once they are no longer competent. In this case, the only option without an existing power of attorney document is petitioning the court for a legal guardianship, which can be difficult and time-consuming, so it’s best to get the power of attorney straightened out before the senior’s condition worsens.
Seniors living with age-related illnesses may require assistance with tasks such as bathing or cooking. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Orlando, FL, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
5. The Person with Power of Attorney Can Do Whatever He or She Wants
Some seniors worry about signing a power of attorney document because they think the agent will mismanage their personal affairs. However, any person with power of attorney has a legal obligation to make decisions in the best interest of the senior. An agent who is mismanaging a senior’s estate can be replaced or face legal consequences.
Power of attorney can help families make decisions on behalf of a loved one when he or she has been diagnosed with a serious health condition. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. Windermere families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. Call Home Care Assistance today at (407) 232-7155 to speak to a Care Manager and schedule a complimentary consultation.