Power of Attorney

imagesHi this is Anthony Diaz with Rosa’s Chante Assited Living and today I want to share with you some information people ask me a great deal about. That is Power of Attorney (POA). It is not something that you think of right off the bat when you become a caregiver because first and foremost you are concerned about your loved ones health and well-being. Yet it is vital to understand though that money does eventually becomes an issue because as your elderly loved one will most likely be unable to sort out their own affairs and finances, or mentally be unfit to do so.

In order to take care of these financial affairs, you will first need to apply for and be granted power of attorney (POA). Today, because of fraud and security issues, privacy laws are created so that no one can interfere in the financial affairs of another unless they have permission by the individual in some way, shape or form. If you do need regular access to their finances to pay medical, or for their homecare, or whatever else they may need, then you will need power of attorney (POA).

There are two types of power of attorney, ordinary and enduring. The ordinary power of attorney limits your access because it stipulates the matters that you can actually control. For example, your elderly relative may only allow you to sort out bills for them. It is also commonly used when an individual is unable to manage their affairs for a set period of time. The fact that this is for a set period of time means that it will inevitably expire and thus is not a good option for elderly individuals who may permanently be unable to take care of their finances.

An enduring power of attorney, on the other hand, grants you access to every aspect of their assets. You can effectively run their finances, govern their property and do pretty much as you please with everything they own. As a result, this requires a lot of trust on the part of your relative and you must feel that you are up to the job before accepting the power of attorney. It can actually be established at any time, even if the elderly individual in question is still capable of running his or her affairs, but it does continue if mental capacity is diminished.

It is a huge responsibility to be put in charge of somebody else’s financial affairs, especially if the individual in question is also under your care. It can cause a lot of stress for you, especially when you are getting to grips with it all. You must go to a lawyer to establish the power of attorney in the first place, and so he or she may be able to advise you on where to begin.


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