Finances & Legal Matters

Key Facts You Need to Know About Power of Attorney

Power of attorney can be a complex issue. Oftentimes, caregivers become the attorney-in-fact of their senior loved one. This can be a problem, as the person giving the power of attorney may not fully understand what they are signing. Additionally, a power of attorney doesn’t always give full control over finances and health care decisions to the caregiver.

In the end, it’s important for caregivers to know that they have options when it comes to making sure their loved one has full access to their finances and medical care.

Here’s a quick guide to power of attorney, from the various types to the financial implications.

What Is Power of Attorney?

Power of attorney refers to the legal process that gives an identified agent or attorney-in-fact legal authority over someone else. This process is usually invoked when the senior no longer has the mental or emotional capacity to make legal decisions. As specified by the power of attorney document, the agent is given a range of legal and financial responsibilities on behalf of the senior.  This can include the power to make medical decisions, access bank accounts or other financial accounts, and make legal decisions.

When seniors develop serious health conditions, one or more family members often assume the role of attorney-in-fact, so they can make decisions regarding home care.

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a home care provider Dayton, Ohio, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.


Key Facts You Need to Know About Power of Attorney


What Are the Types of Power of Attorney?

Family caregivers should be familiar with the four types of power of attorney: general, durable, limited and springing durable.

  1. The first type is general power of attorney, which only ends when the principal dies or revokes the power.
  2. Durable power of attorney remains in place even if the principal is incapacitated.
  3. Limited power of attorney designates the agent’s power to a specific field, like finances or healthcare.
  4. Springing durable power of attorney is only activated when a specified event comes to pass. For example, if your loved one is at risk for cardiovascular events, he or she might draft a legal document giving you power of attorney in the event of a heart attack.

Drafting a power of attorney is one of the many ways to ensure your loved one receives continual care if he or she becomes ill. It will help you and your senior loved one avoid legal complications that can arise when a person is incapacitated.

Incapacity can be represented by both mental and physical illnesses, injuries or other health issues that prevent someone from making the right decisions.

Incapacitation, including stroke recovery, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, or a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Dayton, Ohio, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place.

What Sorts of Things Can an Agent Decide?

When a family caregiver is specified as an agent, he or she becomes responsible for making many important decisions for his or her senior loved one. Some power of attorney documents are focused exclusively on healthcare, some exclusively on finances, and some address both.

In terms of healthcare, agents can decide what types of medical care the senior receives, what he or she eats, and where he or she resides. The agent can also make decisions about what types of medications the senior takes, whether he or she receives psychological counseling, etc.

In terms of finances, the agent can decide how to spend money on the senior’s behalf. He or she can make purchases, pay bills and taxes, oversee investments, and more. They are also responsible for making sure that their loved one’s health care is being paid for.


Key Facts You Need to Know About Power of Attorney


What Situations Necessitate a Power of Attorney Document?

Power of attorney documents are used for a variety of reasons. Some family members get temporary power of attorney when their loved one is traveling, which is often limited to financial decisions and expires when the senior returns home.

When seniors simply need a bit of help managing their everyday finances, like paying bills and filing taxes, they often execute a general power of attorney, which gives the agent power to make financial decisions but doesn’t render the senior powerless. The senior can still make financial decisions independently.

For specific financial transactions like purchasing a new car or selling a home, seniors often execute limited powers of attorney because it gives the agent the power to act on the senior’s behalf when faced with challenging financial transactions.

If you need help managing your senior loved ones financial affairs, it’s best to consult an attorney. They can help you determine the best course of action and ensure that your loved one’s rights are protected.

Consider taking some time off your caregiving duties to consult a legal expert about powers of attorney. If you are the primary caregiver for a senior loved one in Dayton, respite care is available when you need time away from your important caregiving duties.

At Home Care Assistance, our respite caregivers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help your loved one manage everyday tasks in the comfort of home while you have the chance to take a much-needed break. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your aging loved one, contact our team today.

Need In Home Care for Your Love One?

Home Care Assistance of Dayton can help you or a loved one today.

Contact us now for a complimentary in-home or virtual assessment.

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