Durable Power of Attorney

Helping Your Aging Parent

Will You Need a Durable Power of Attorney for Your Aging Parents?

Being at the head of the Baby Boomer line, I’m facing issues that no one prepared me for.  I am now telling all of my friends to have a Durable Power of Attorney (POA) not only for their aging parents, but for themselves as well.  My parents’ health and ability to live in their longtime home changed very quickly.  My dad listened to me and was willing to meet with an attorneyand review the  necessary papers.

My mother’s health suddenly became an issue and generated financial concerns about her care if my father were to die.  His income was enough to cover their needs unless he were to precede my mother in death.  The attorney encouraged us to sign a Durable Power of Attorney, which would give me the ability to make important decisions concerning health, living arrangements and finances if both of my parents became incapacitated.  My mother was wheelchair- bound and because of a stroke, she was not able to make decisions as logically as she had always done.  When she died, five years later, my father was still very much able to make his own life decisions.

But that was to last for just over one year.

What Happens When the Surviving Parent Becomes Incapacitated?

A year after my mother’s death, my father had his 2nd stroke, which put us in the position of facing end-of-life care.  The Durable Power of Attorney (POA) that we had signed five years earlier suddenly became VERY important.  Without the POA, I would have been at the mercy of those who did not know my father and I would have had no legal rights.  There are  many issues to deal with when a parent can no longer manage on their own:

  • Housing
  • Bills and Credit Cards
  • Assets
  • Medical Decisions
  • End-of-Life Care
  • Pets
  • Mail

All of the emotional decisions were made.  Acting on those decisions was FAR easier because I had a Durable Power of Attorney. Remember that you’re still maintaining your own life and will probably be facing great emotional stress as your parents age.  Don’t wait.  Educate yourself.  Make an appointment with an attorney and have the papers signed.   Today.

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22 Responses to “Your Aging Parents and Durable Power of Attorney”

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