The general definition of power of attorney is “a written authorization that allows you to act on someone else’s behalf in all financial, medical care, property, and legal matters”. In that agreement, the person giving over their right to decision-making is referred to as the principal. The person receiving the right is known as the attorney-in-fact or agent. For instance, if a POA grants authority to make medical decisions over your aging parent, your dad/mum is the principal, and you are the agent.
The first stage in a power of attorney process starts with recognizing your rights as the agent. Here are some of the duties you will be expected to perform:
- Hiring and selecting caregivers or doctors
- Making medical care decisions, including stopping or continuing medical treatments and diagnostics
- Signing checks for an elderly parent, opening bank accounts or selling a property for your principal
- Making decisions concerning the long-term living arrangements of your principal to medical care
- Making business, personal, or investment-related decisions
- Deciding over parent forms of income
- Purchasing a life insurance policy for your seniors
- Opening a lawsuit on your principal’s behalf and signing any legal documents necessary for the case.
Once acquainted with all the rights and responsibilities, the next step is recognizing when you should utilize the POA. Power of attorney can be used in several circumstances like:
- When the principal develops dementia
- When your grandparents can no longer take care of themselves
- Before military deployment, enabling you to act on your principal’s behalf in the event of incapacitation
- When handling affairs for a principal who’s absent while traveling
Once the need for POA has been established, it’s always an excellent idea to seek legal counsel from an attorney. Remember, every state has unique laws regarding power of attorney; having a Local Attorney in Maryland ensures that you have professional counsel regarding relevant laws.
The next step is having a discussion with your legal counsel, principal, and agent to help determine your scope of power. Once the POA document has been signed, it officially becomes legally binding for all parties.
Can You Have More Than One Power of Attorney?
Yes, you can have more than one power of attorney. However, most lawyers tend to advise against this move. First, it’s important to note that there is no legal reason why you cannot have more than one power of attorney. But, the real question should be, can you obtain more than one person for a POA for an elderly parent?
The answer to this question is no unless there is a specific reason; having more than one person for a POA for an elderly parent comes with potential problems. It increases conflicts, as the more people there are, the higher the likelihood they will disagree.
A conflict can paralyze guardianship as each decision-maker will want to overrule the other. The POAs may also disagree over who among them is in charge, even though all participants have equal rights.
There is, however, one exception to this rule. For an aging couple, it is always best to name your spouse and a responsible child as your POA. This ensures that if one of your stepparents is incapacitated, their needs will still be met.
How Can POA Be Given for Parents With Dementia?
Taking care of a person with dementia is challenging. Now imagine having to acquire power of attorney over them. Well, it may seem tough, but it’s not impossible. A person with dementia can sign over power of attorney if they understand what the document is, what they are approving, and what it does.
But, if the disease progresses, you may have to enlist the help of your local court. The judge will then review your case and grant a court designee or family member the title of a conservator. A conservatorship enables the designee named by the judge to make financial decisions on behalf of the individual.
Guardianship allows the court-designated individual to decide about the parent’s health care. While acquiring power of attorney for an elderly parent may look like a cumbersome process, it certainly does help you advocate for your loved one’s healthcare.
Granting Financial Power of Attorney in Maryland
All states have strict regulations to follow when granting power of attorney. The requirements for how to obtain power of attorney for an elderly parent in Maryland include:
- The POA has to be in writing.
- The person establishing the POA has to sign the agreement.
- The POA agreement has to be acknowledged in the presence of a notary public. At least two adult witnesses have to witness the document.
- Also, an individual has to be mentally competent and at least 18 years of age to create a valid power of attorney. This means they have to understand the powers and documents a POA passes to their agent.
Remember, a POA gives other individuals authority over everything that pertains to you. Therefore, be very careful about who you choose. For more information on power of attorney, visit our website: https://chesapeakewillsandtrusts.com/
Chesapeake Wills & Trusts,
7310 Ritchie Hwy #900 Glen Burnie Maryland 21061,