How to Get Power of Attorney for an Elderly Parent
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How to Get Power of Attorney for an Elderly Parent?

Discover how to acquire power of attorney for older parents or loved ones.

Powers of attorney can bring serenity to both the elderly and their caregivers. Powers of attorney enable elders to permit a trusted individual to make decisions about healthcare and financials on their behalf. Having these powers in place when a loved one has lost their ability to make sensible financial decisions can be invaluable, particularly if the individual in need of assistance denies — or isn’t aware of – decline in physical and/or mental health. The following is a guide on how to attain a power of attorney for older parents.

What Documentation Will You Need?

When the person you’re caring for still has their mental health (somewhat forgetful is alright, so long as they can comprehend the plans you’re suggesting) and acceptive to the idea of establishing medical wishes and designating someone to manage financial issues, that is going to make things a lot easier. You can assist the individual in creating and finalizing both medical and financial powers of attorney. This paperwork will name in individual — maybe you — to supervise medical care and manage financial issues. Below is a summarized overview of them.

Medical Power of Attorney

These documents — usually known as a “durable power of attorney for healthcare” — designates a trusted individual in making healthcare decisions for someone that can no longer do it for themselves, or just does not want to. Subject to the individual’s state of residence, the healthcare representative might be known as an agent, healthcare proxy, attorney in fact, healthcare surrogate, or something likewise.

The healthcare agent works alongside doctors and other healthcare providers to ensure the individual that creates the document receives the type of care they want to get. When arranging care, the agent is legally obligated to follow the document creator’s treatment preferences to the degree they know what they comprise of.

To make healthcare desires clear, the individual you’re caring for may use a second kind of healthcare document – typically known as a living will or healthcare declaration — to offer written healthcare guidelines to the agent and healthcare providers.

To keep it simple, many states merge a durable power of attorney for healthcare and living will into a singular form, usually known as an advance healthcare directive.

Financial Power of Attorney

A financial power of attorney you are going to want to help your loved one prepare is known as a “durable power of attorney for finances.” This documentation is going to let your family member or friend give another individual else full authority to manage financial issues. The appointed individual is typically known as the “agent” or “attorney in fact,” although they definitely do not have to be an attorney.

The agent can manage routine tasks like sorting through mail and/or depositing Social Security checks, in addition to more complex jobs such as overseeing retirement accounts and other such investments, or the filing of tax returns. The agent does not have to be a financial professional, just an individual that is completely dependable and has a little common sense. When necessary, the agent may hire professionals to assist with complex tasks.

When Your Loved One Disputes Your Assistance

If you think someone that needs assistance will dispute your efforts, you need to carefully think about the the method in which you approach the subject. The following is what you need to know about how to obtain a power of attorney for elderly parents that are resistant to your assistance:

Explain the reasoning powers of attorney are important. For some headstrong individuals, it might be enough to explain the reason planning is important. Many individuals might be moved by a request to make powers of attorney since it is going to alleviate concerns and burden for you and others that care about them, even when they don’t really care what happens or who is going to make decisions for them.

Others might be more prone to make healthcare and financial documents when they understand that doing so is the best way that they can keep in control of their lives since whomever they designate needs to adhere to their instructions in any way possible. (When they don’t designate their own individuals in powers of attorney, a court could appoint an individual to act devoid their input.)

Obviously, when you speak with anyone that is struggling with increasing debilities, you are going to have to tread lightly around matters of declining mental or physical abilities, maybe emphasizing that planning is a good thing for everyone to do, in case help is required someday.

Don’t compel them. That being said, it’s just as important to not forget that legally you can’t –and obviously, shouldn’t — compel someone to follow a particular course simply because you deem it best. When you strong-arm or coerce an individual into making powers of attorney and the documentation is later disputed in court, you might find yourself in a heap of legal trouble. The same is true for forging signatures on legal documents. Do not do it. If your loved one doesn’t want to work together and you at some time have to ask a court for control over their affairs, that might be hard, but it’s a lot better than being charged with fraud or falsification.

When It Is Too Late to Plan

When a family member is already debilitated, you’ll be required to petition a court to designate a guardian or conservator to oversee their affairs. A court is going to typically name a spouse or other close member of the family to fulfill this position, considering any evidence of what the debilitated individual would have wished and other details about what is in their best interest.


  1. Valerie Keene, A. (2019, November 20). Helping an elder make a power of attorney. Retrieved June 04, 2021, from

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