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5 Incorrect Assumptions About Power of Attorney

By , 9:00 am on

A power of attorney appoints an agent to make important decisions on your senior loved one’s behalf depending on what is covered in the agreement. Despite the importance of power of attorney, there are many misconceptions surrounding this document. Take a look at some of the most common myths regarding power of attorney.  

1. A Power of Attorney Can Be Created After a Person Is Declared Incompetent

Power of attorney can only be executed while an individual is competent enough to know exactly what types of rights he or she is assigning the other party. Talk to your loved one about creating a power of attorney before he or she is mentally incapable of making legal decisions. 

Creating a power of attorney is not the only overwhelming responsibility you may have to face. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide home care. Phoenix families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.

2. The Agent Has Unlimited Powers 

The agent listed in the power of attorney is only allowed to perform duties that are assigned in the document. For instance, the agent may be able to make medical decisions but is not allowed to perform financial transactions on the principal’s behalf. An agent must also be certain that any decisions made are in the principal’s best interest. 

3. Only Elderly People Require a Power of Attorney 

Some people put off establishing a power of attorney because they’re still capable of thinking clearly. However, all it takes is a single accident or illness to render a person incapacitated. Your loved one may need a power of attorney if he or she develops dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or another health condition that leads to cognitive decline.

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior home care Phoenix, AZ, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.  

4. There Is Only One Type of Power of Attorney 

Contrary to popular belief, there are several different types of power of attorney a person could be assigned. For example, a general power of attorney allows the agent to make financial decisions on behalf of the incapacitated principal. However, there are also limited power of attorney designations that allow your loved one to delegate responsibilities as he or she sees fit. For instance, your parent may feel as though your sibling would be best at handling the medical decisions while someone else in your family could manage financial matters. 

5. A Power of Attorney Never Ends 

A power of attorney typically ends on the principal’s death. Once the principal dies, other legal documents apply, such as a will and testimony. Make sure you understand all of the legalities involved with being power of attorney.

Creating a power of attorney for an aging parent can be a challenging task, especially if you have other important duties to tend to. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Phoenix respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts. To learn about our high-quality in-home care options, give us a call at 602.388.1085 today.