Newman Law Group

A power of attorney can help aging parents

Some children watch their parents get older and wonder how they will handle the needs of their parents as they age. If the parent becomes ill or otherwise unable to manage his or her finances and health care decisions, who can help? In California, a parent may choose to assign a power of attorney to one of his or her children so that the individual can help the parent in the event of illness or emergency. 

There are two main types of powers of attorney: durable power of attorney and medical power of attorney. As expected, the medical POA can step in to help make decisions about health care needs for someone who is sick or incapacitated. The medical POA can also access medical records and speak to doctors for the principal party. 

A durable power of attorney will help manage finances should the principal require assistance. Experts recommend that the person choose both a primary agent and a secondary agent. Should the primary be inaccessible for some reason, the secondary will be ready in case of emergency. The powers can be set up permanently or temporarily, and they can also be changed or revoked as needed. 

The state of California provides facts and guidelines about the various roles a power of attorney can take. Individuals interested in learning more about the roles and responsibilities may choose to research the topic. Some people also choose to consult with an experienced attorney for a more complete understanding and for assistance in filling out any required forms.

Source: sandiegouniontribune.com, "Power of attorney: What do I need to know?", Doug Williams, April 27, 2018

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