Help Your Family Pull Together—Know What Determines Power of Attorney Over a Parent
It is an uncomfortable but unavoidable fact that your parents will reach a point in their lives when they can’t look after themselves. This may be due to physical debilitation, but it can also be a result of a decline in their ability to think and make decisions.
However difficult the discussion may be, you should prepare for this time by talking about a power of attorney to make sure they are looked after financially when they can no longer do it themselves.
DoNotPay can help you. We have everything you need to know about what determines power of attorney (POA) over a parent and how to set one up.
|Type of POA||Explanation|
|Limited POA||A limited POA only allows you to perform certain specified functions or is bound by time restrictions. This is a good option if your parents expect to be traveling for a specified time and need bills paid while they are away but are otherwise healthy|
|General POA||You can use a general POA to manage your parents’ affairs while they are still healthy, but it terminates if they become physically or mentally incapacitated|
|Springing POA||A springing POA kicks in when your parents become incapacitated. It is important in this type of POA that you agree on the exact medical conditions that mean the POA becomes valid|
|Durable POA||This type of POA is the most wide-ranging, becoming valid upon signing (unless otherwise stated) and remaining so until it is terminated by:
The most important aspect of a POA is that you, as the agent, cannot grant a power of attorney—it can only be set up by the principal while they are still of sound mind.
This means that the time to have the difficult discussion about a POA for your parents is now. You will not be able to get a POA once your parents are no longer able to make decisions independently.
The factors to consider when you discuss a POA with your parents are:
- Choice of agent
- Long-term financial planning
- Ongoing financial responsibilities
However hard it may be to accept, you may not be the best-qualified person to be the agent of the POA.
Your actions, while they will always be with the best intentions, could be clouded by emotional considerations.
You should discuss the option of finding a trusted agent outside the family to take on the responsibility.
Your parents may have savings, property, or investments that are tied up in long-term commitments. The POA needs to address what should—and should not—happen with these.
Your POA with your parents should cover every aspect of their day-to-day expenses, including:
- Bank account access
- Credit cards
- Living expenses
The more clarity you build into the POA with your parents, the less the likelihood of problems or arguments further down the line.
If your parent or parents are already incapacitated, you will face a complicated struggle to get a power of attorney to look after their affairs.
The process to get control of your incapacitated parents’ finances is as follows:
- Check for a POA or a living will
- Obtain a conservatorship or adult guardianship
Your parents may already have granted power of attorney without telling you. Alternatively, they may have prepared a living will that sets out who should be responsible for their finances if they become incapacitated.
You will need to approach the court to obtain a conservatorship or adult guardianship that gives you the right to take over and manage your parents’ financial affairs.
The court process is complicated and can become expensive, so it is best avoided by agreeing for a POA to be granted as soon as possible. This is where DoNotPay comes in—we can help your parents prepare a power of attorney document in a flash!
DoNotPay is here to help you simplify complex legal matters, and preparing a power of attorney document is our latest offering for you.
With DoNotPay, you don’t need an expensive lawyer—you can set up your power of attorney letter in a few clicks. Here’s what you need to do:
- Sign up with DoNotPay in your web browser
- Go to our Power of Attorney feature
- Follow the prompts and fill in the details you want to be included in the document
Once you have filled everything in, DoNotPay will generate your document. Your parents should then sign it in the presence of a notary.
Most Americans go through financial hurdles daily. You don’t need to put up with it all—as soon as you sign up for our app and voice your struggles, we will provide our assistance! DoNotPay is capable of:
- Getting you free raffle tickets
- Finding your unclaimed money
- Helping you reduce all your utility bills
- Claiming insurance and warranty in your stead
- Demanding refunds from companies in your stead
- Helping you get a college fee waiver
- Getting you robocall compensation
- Getting you refunds from airlines
- Appealing your parking tickets
- Reducing your property taxes
Are you dealing with a company that doesn’t want to cooperate and keeps ignoring your consumer rights? No problem—DoNotPay can help you sue the company in small claims court and win your case.
Have you been trying to reach the company’s customer support reps with no success? Don’t get stressed—our app will gladly wait in the phone queue in your stead and notify you as soon as someone picks up.