Definition of Power of Attorney – Sturdy, Medical, and Extra
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Taking care of aging parents and loved ones is so much more than taking care of their physical health. You may have noticed that your father is having memory problems and you are concerned that he is no longer able to make financial decisions. Or maybe your very independent mother takes a little bit of persuasion to get them Affairs okay. Do you have the tools to make decisions on their behalf? Have you signed a power of attorney?
The role of a caregiver is complex. It can be emotionally, mentally, and even physically demanding on a good day (hello, compassion fatigue!). But staying organized can help minimize the daily stress that comes with caring for a loved one. To this end, Scary Mommy asked Lawrence Davidow – Senior and Managing Partner at Davidow, Davidow, Siegel & Stern, LLP – to explain how the power of attorney works and what effects it has on caregivers.
What does power of attorney mean and how does it work?
The Power of Attorney (POA) is a document in which you give someone the authority to make decisions for you. It’s something everyone does when they get their legal affairs in order. It can take effect from the moment mom signs it, or it can come to life at another time if mom is disabled or unable to act for herself. It can be limited to a particular timeline or purpose, or broad – mom can even protect it loyal puppy in the document.
States have different names and concepts for specific purposes. Sometimes it’s called a medical POA and a financial POA. For example, in New York, the POA is strictly financial and the separate medical document is labeled a Health care proxy.
“Everyone should have a POA as one of the four core documents” Davidow told us. “A will, a POA, a healthcare proxy, and a livelihood will let the world know what to do when you step into an incurable disease. With COVID-19, you want to define exactly what your family can and cannot do in an emergency. ”
What is a permanent power of attorney?
If the mother (the headmistress) becomes unable to work due to illness or injury and is unable to communicate her wishes, a permanent POA enables the appointed person (the agent) to act on her behalf. The fact that it works while mom may disagree or object makes it “permanent”.
“I would say 99.9 percent of the POAs I’ve ever done are permanent,” Davidow added.
It’s so important to make sure mom gives this power to someone she trusts completely. The choice is entirely up to her, whether you agree or not. This could include:
- Your scaly sister
- Your annoying cousin
- Your mother’s neighbor (whom you’ve never met)
- Your mother’s best friend
- Bank Trust Department
What if mom wants both my sister and I to be her power of attorney?
Maybe your sister lives closer to mom, but you are more financially savvy. Depending on your family’s dynamics, there are a few ways you can find out.
- Mom can choose you as the primary and your sister as the backup (secondary).
- Mom can choose both of you where you both have to sign everything together. In other words, two signatures on everything.
- Mom can choose the two of you where either of you can act – one signature to rule them all.
What can a financial agent decide?
As long as the POA says so, it can give full authority to do anything financial, including::
- Filing taxes
- Invest the money
- pay bills
- Sell the house
- Apply for public benefits like Medicaid and Veterans Benefits
- Collect debts
What can a doctor decide?
As long as the POA says so, it can give authority to make decisions on anything medical, including:
- Medical care such as hospital care, surgery, home care and psychiatric treatment
- Choose care provider
- Decide about assisted living agreement
The client must be able to afford the agreements and the financial POA has yet to approve the costs.
What is the urgency to sign a power of attorney?
Mom and Dad cannot sign a POA if they are no longer competent. It is too late. At that point, you have to go to court, hire a lawyer, and spend thousands of dollars – money that you could use for your own purposes Budget for a child’s college education – to get guardianship. You can avoid this by signing a permanent POA now.
Davidow encourages people to start planning well before retirement age. “Most of the time people now sign one, put it in a drawer or folder, and if they get handicapped, children may open the drawer, take it out, or go to the lawyer to get the document so they can start acting Mom and Dad, ”he explained.
How competent does mom have to be to sign a power of attorney?
The mother was diagnosed with early stages of Alzheimer’s. Poor short term memory and repetitive. Is It Too Late For POA?
The answer to this question is not black and white.
- Does mom know who you are
- If you gave her three quarters, two dimes and a nickel, could she add that to a dollar?
Davidow stated, “You don’t need to know the president or the day of the week. When people retire, it’s easy to forget the day of the week. But you basically need to have enough sense to understand your actions. “Yes, I forget things, but I understand what my fortunes are, who my family is and what concept I want my daughter to make my financial decisions because I realize that I am no longer what I used to be. ” … Even if mom thinks Nixon is the president. ”
Can I download a power of attorney form online?
You can get power of attorney for cookie cutters, but Davidow doesn’t recommend it: “I can almost guarantee that you won’t have the language you will need one day.”
For example – #PROTIP alarm – Davidow adds a language that the agent can use to give gifts on behalf of the client.
“Let’s say a daughter can use the POA to get gifts from mom’s money,” he said. “In case mom needs a tax plan or Medicaid plan, or if mom has had to go to a nursing home and we’re about to lose her home and all of her money, there are last minute ways to save that money by they get money from mom’s name and try to protect it. “
You want the POA to work for every possible situation. It is therefore best to work the process through with an expert.
When does the power of attorney end?
The POA ends when:
- The headmaster dies
- You create another and revoke the old one
- By their own admission (A notice that says it will end on a specific date)
Once you care about mom or dad, you want the right tools to do the job well. The power of attorney is one of these instruments. It will help you protect your parent’s finances and decisions.