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Planning for the future requires many things. Working on a financial plan and retirement goals. Writing a will and designating an executor. Creating important legal documents, such as a power of attorney (POA).
As a family member, especially of an older adult, you might find yourself being called on to assume the role of POA. Before you accept, it’s important to understand what a POA is and the responsibilities it entails.
Understanding the Different Types of POA
A POA document designates someone to act on your behalf in the event you are unable to or unavailable. Unfortunately, there are many myths surrounding a POA.
One persistent myth is that having a POA puts a senior at risk for losing their independence. This misconception might make a senior reluctant to set up this important document. The truth is there are several different types of POAs, including ones that give very narrow authority.
It’s also important to understand the difference between a durable and nondurable POA.
If a power of attorney is durable, it will be in effect even if you are incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself. If the document does not explicitly spell out that the power is durable, it is nondurable and ends if you become incapacitated.
Accepting the role of POA requires more than an understanding of what the document is and isn’t. There are many other issues to consider.
Should You Accept a Senior Loved One’s Request to Be a POA?
A few things to think through before assuming the role of POA include:
We know this is one of many issues adult children who are family caregivers face. Finding the answers you need is important. We created “Sunrise: Your Senior Care Resource” to help.
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