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Importance of a power of attorney in elder care

On Behalf of | Nov 19, 2021 | Elder Law |

It is recommended that all Indiana adults have a designated individual to serve as an agent under a power of attorney in the event of a calamity that renders them incapacitated, but it is vital for seniors to make this designation. A power of attorney is actually one of the primary elements of an estate plan because it gives a prior valid personal directive if anything incapacitating happens. A power of attorney does not need to be general either, also known as durable, and the authority can be split between medical decisions and financial needs. Here are a few reasons to consider having a POA.

Living will assignment

A living will states the wishes of the maker in the event of a medical condition that may require life support or leave them without the ability to communicate. This is not necessarily restricted to elder law applications, and it is actually a good step for anyone because accidents can happen to anyone at any time.

Peace of mind regarding financial responsibilities

Everyone has financial responsibilities regarding their personal household budget and other various expenses. Having a trusted individual designated to handle these duties eliminates confusion with respect to actual authority to perform the tasks legally. It is also important to realize that those assigned also have a fiduciary duty to follow the instructions from the principal as a matter of estate planning which means there is still some autonomy associated with the declaration in some instances.

The truth is that many seniors are not always incapacitated permanently, and having an attorney-in-fact who automatically steps in when necessary assures a smooth transition to and from medical care. Even when there is no imminent issue, the need can arise at a moment’s notice. Being prepared in advance is always the best personal policy.