What is Power of Attorney?

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How can I become a Power of Attorney?

What is Power of Attorney?

While serving as a caregiver, you will observe times when it is necessary for someone to act as Power of Attorney. Power of Attorney is a signed and witnessed document providing the authority for the "agent" (the party assigned as Power of Attorney) to perform or act on the elderly person's behalf.

Acting as the assigned Power of Attorney does not mean that the elderly person can no longer make his or her decisions. Power of Attorney allows the party assigned to act on the elderly person's behalf, by making bank deposits, or caring for the finances.

If the elderly person feels that the Power of Attorney is not acting in his or her best interest, the Power of Attorney can be relinquished.

The party designated as the Power of Attorney must perform the duties and responsibilities with the best interest of the elderly person in mind.

When an elderly person designates a Power of Attorney, he or she must consider the following concerns:

Is the person I want to designate responsible? Can I trust him, or her?
Does the person have my best interest in mind?
Is the person assigned willing to face the responsibilities, without complaint or persuasion?
Does the person I want to designate visit me on a regular basis?
Is the person I am ready to assign understand my finances, and the decisions made on my behalf?
What happens to me if I decide to change my Power of Attorney?
How do I legally create a Power of Attorney?

Be certain to check the State you live in to inquire about the legal issues of a Power of Attorney.
During my father's illness my dad assigned me as his Power of Attorney. All I had to do was get the legal document kit and get it signed by him, witnessed and dated by two witnesses, and register it at the court house.

I am listing below what actions I took on my father's behalf to complete the Power of Attorney:

I bought a Power of Attorney kit at Office Depot.
Dad completed it, with two witnesses present. He signed it, getting the two witnesses to observe our legal signatures.
A Notary Public attended this action, and notarized the signatures.
I contacted the courthouse, paid a small fee, and registered the document.

I encourage every caregiver to get a Power of Attorney assigned. This document can help to finalize some of the concerns and business matters in the event the elderly person becomes mentally incapacitated, or physically unable to take care of all business, financial and final matters.



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