Does Every Elderly Person Need to Assign Power of Attorney?

Nobody likes thinking about their parents getting old, but there is no escaping the fact of aging. Everyone gets older eventually, and some start showing signs of mental depreciation sooner than others. Eventually, every adult child will have to oversee his or her parent’s financial and medical decisions; it’s just a matter of when that transition will need to occur.

For this reason, it is important for an adult child to be granted Power of Attorney (POA) by their elderly parent(s) before the parent(s) is/are no longer able to manage their finances or to make reasonable decisions for themselves.

By being granted Power of Attorney, the adult child will become the one responsible for making all of the medical and financial decisions for their parent(s), from choosing which medical treatments are administered, to signing their tax returns, to paying their bills, and managing their mutual fund accounts.

4 Common Scenarios Where a Power of Attorney Is Beneficial

Not sure if you need a Power of Attorney? Here are four of the most common scenarios in which being granted a Power of Attorney can be beneficial.

  1.  Your elderly parent is single or has a spouse who is not mentally capable of being a Power of Attorney
  2. Your parent is currently mentally competent but wants help managing his or her finances
  3. Your parent(s) need assistance during a temporary time frame (i.e., they’re traveling abroad, temporarily incapacitated, etc.)
  4. One of your parents does not want to take on the financial responsibilities should the other parent lose their mental faculties

Of course, a Power of Attorney can also prove useful when both of your parents are still of sound mind and body. By being granted back-up Power of Attorney privileges, you will already have everything in place should both of your parents become incapacitated.

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