When someone gets older there are actually a number of different things they should start to think about. Elder care is not just looking at things like nursing homes, or in-home care, or how they will care for themselves. This is when most people look at creating a will, a living will, or trust funds. It should also be when you look at power of attorney.
A power of attorney actually has two parts. This means that you would have two different documents drawn up. You can choose to use the same person for both, however the papers are completely different. The two different forms of a power of attorney are for medical decisions and for financial ones.
In elder care, someone that is unable to make medical decisions for themselves will need someone to make those decisions for them. Your doctor or the hospital will likely ask the closest relative to you. The first person they would look to is your husband/wife. They would be responsible for making the decision. If you didn’t have a husband/wife then they would look to your parent and then they would go to the oldest child. If you don’t want them to make that decision you need to decide who will. That’s what the medical power of attorney does.
Now, a financial power of attorney does something similar for your finances. It says that someone else can do whatever they want with your money. This means that they could do everything from depositing checks to handling your investments. This has to be someone that you trust because they have complete control over your money and everything that you own.
If you know who you want to be in charge of your money and your healthcare decisions if anything should happen, then you want to draw up the documents right away. This allows you to determine who you want taking care of you and it’s the best way to be sure that what you want is done.
Our elder care lawyers can help you understand power of attorney, and draw up the right documents to ensure that your financial and healthcare decisions are carried out.