We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post, which is at no additional cost to you. :)
Power of Attorney. Doesn’t that sound powerful? You watch TV, someone produces one of those, and they have total power with no problems. Now try that in the real world. You’ll probably find it’s not quite that easy. Don’t get me wrong. It’s vital to have one. I highly recommend asking an attorney for the state your aging parent lives in to prepare a Durable Power of Attorney. Different states have different rules, so that can be very important. If you are not sure what a Durable Power of Attorney is, you can read an excellent article about it at ElderGuru.
Once you have the power of attorney (poa) and it is signed and notarized, it’s then VERY important to contact each and every company your elderly parent does business with, especially the banks and financial companies such as Charles Schwab. You will discover that many, if not all, of them require their own Power of Attorney form in addition to or instead of your senior parent’s own Power of Attorney. Plan on spending a day or two (or more) working on this. Each one often requires an hour or more as you fill out the forms, provide any necessary documents, etc. If it’s a bank, they should be able to provide the notarizing for you. If you are doing any of it by mail, then you will have to find your own notary public. I even ran across one company that required something different than a notarization, which my own bank had to provide. Fortunately, they knew how to do it as I had never heard of it before.
Preparing a Power of Attorney isn’t difficult, but it is time consuming to begin with. It is a vital part of eldercare, though, so be sure you look into this well before you think you will need it. Once you do need it, it may be too late.