A Power Of Attorney Is a Vital Part of Eldercare

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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.

The Wright Stuff
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  1. Thanks for the shout out!

    • Kaye
    • April 14, 2009

    Hi Derrick, You’re very welcome. Thank you for such a great resource 🙂

    • Elizabeth
    • April 30, 2009

    Also, once you get it, be sure to have several copies, keep one with you, and give one to the doctor’s office or hospital

  2. Excellent point! I’ve done that as well. It’s amazing how little doctors’ offices and hosptials communicate with each other, even when you are in an HMO like Kaiser! So I give everyone a copy. Thanks for reminding my readers AND ME about that! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Ed Pemberton
    • February 28, 2010

    After you have a Power of Attorney granted to you, what are the record keeping or reporting requirements??
    Can I just spentd the money as I see fit??

  3. Hi Ed, That’s a great question. I would discuss that question with your attorney to be sure you get the correct advice for the state you each live in and for your particular family circumstances. You might also check with the United State Aging Administration – http://www.aoa.gov/ – to see if they offer advice on topics like this. 🙂

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