If you are considering a power of attorney for elderly parents, you are most likely balancing your concerns for your parents against the concern for granting someone a power of attorney. If you are a child of elderly parents, you may be wondering what exactly is expected in the role of power of attorney. In any case, our firm can assist you in navigating the concerns surrounding a power of attorney, and assist in drafting estate planning documents as well.
There are primarily two power of attorney documents which you should consider for elderly parents in North Carolina. The first is a healthcare power of attorney, and the second is a financial power of attorney.
Healthcare Power of Attorney For Elderly Parents
A healthcare power of attorney appoints an individual to assist in making healthcare decisions for an individual in the event the individual cannot communicate their wishes to doctors and medical facilities on their own. It’s important that the power of attorney is executed prior to the elderly individual losing the capacity to sign such a document which grants authority over healthcare decisions.
The standard North Carolina power of attorney also contains specific provisions regarding healthcare treatment under common healthcare scenarios. This gives the individual granting the power of attorney to make some of their healthcare wishes directly known via the power of attorney document. The remainder of decision-making will be done by the appointed healthcare power of attorney, in conjunction with the tending physicians.
A healthcare power of attorney in North Carolina is only implemented when the individual requiring healthcare cannot communicate their decisions to doctors on their own; however, as pointed out previously, the document must be signed at a time when the individual has full signing capacity including the ability to understand the effect of the power of attorney being signed into existence.
Financial or Durable Power of Attorney for Elderly Parents
The second type of power of attorney most commonly used in North Carolina is a financial power of attorney. This document is similar to the healthcare power of attorney except that it governs the ability of another individual to manage finances for someone. One distinction between the financial and healthcare power of attorney is that the financial power of attorney, once signed, gives the named agent the power to access and manage finances ongoing. This is true whether the individual who granted the power of attorney has the capacity to manage them on their own or not.
A financial or durable power of attorney continues to be effective once the individual who granted it is deemed to be incapacitated. This, in fact, is when it is most important to have in place. As you can imagine, if an elderly parent is unable to take care of finances, they will then rely on the named agent to do so in their place.
For more information regarding the drafting of or implementation of power of attorney documents, you can reach out to our firm for a free consultation. Our job is to answer questions for both the individual granting the power of attorney, and the individuals who may serve as power of attorney for them. If you would like to read a slightly more in-depth article about power of attorney options, check out A Guide to Power of Attorney for Elderly Parents, which we find to be a great resource from caring.com
You can reach us at 704.749.7747, or click HERE to request a consultation regarding a power of attorney for elderly parents.