The Hive Law

How To Get Power Of Attorney Over A Parent

How To Get Power Of Attorney Over A Parent - How To Get Power Of Attorney For Elderly Parent - Power Of Attorney For Elderly Parent

This article covers how to get power of attorney over a parent. 

And, in this article, you’ll learn about:

  • how to get power of attorney for an elderly parent
  • what types of power of attorneys do you need
  • how to get power of attorney for a parent with dementia
  • how to get power of attorney for an incapacitated
  • how to get a durable power of attorney
  • when does a power of attorney end

Let’s dig in.

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How To Get Power Of Attorney Over A Parent

You’re here to learn how to get power of attorney over a parent. 

Getting a power of attorney for elderly parents can be complex

First, we want to teach you about power of attorneys. 

And everything you’ll need to know to make the best decision possible.

Because making the wrong decisions can leave you powerless in an emergency.

When your parents need your help the most. 

What Is A Power Of Attorney

A power of attorney over a parent allows the child to act on the parent’s behalf

When you get power of attorney for an elderly parent, you are the “agent.”

And your parents would be the “principal.”

An agent is expected to act in the best interest of their parents.   

A power of attorney for parents allows their child to make decisions about:

  • property
  • finances
  • investments
  • medical care

Most elderly parents need multiple types of power of attorneys

An estate planning attorney can help you figure out which power of attorney for your parents is best. 

How A Power Of Attorney For A Parent Works

A power of attorney over a parent gives the child the authority to make decisions for their parents. 

Which type of power of attorney a child gets determines what they can do for their parents

(We will cover the types of power of attorneys for elderly parents below.)

When an elderly parent gets a power of attorney, the child can help when:

  • the parents can no longer take care of themselves 
  • their parents develop dementia or Alzheimer’s
  • their parents travel overseas and need someone to handle their affairs
  • they have an upcoming surgery
  • they get diagnosed with a terminal illness

Who Can Override A Power Of Attorney For A Parent

There are two people that can override a power of attorney for a parent:

  • the parents themselves
  • a conservator

These are the two people who can override a power of attorney for a parent. 

But let’s assume that the POA is not acting in the parent’s best interests. 

A sibling, or anyone else, can contest the power of attorney over a parent. 

Let’s assume the judge determines that the POA is not acting in the parent’s best interest. 

They can revoke the power of attorney over an elderly parent. 

How To Revoke Power Of Attorney For Elderly Parents

The principal (the parent) has the ability to revoke power of attorney for elderly parents at any time. 

They can revoke power of attorney for elderly parents for any reason, without explanation. 

There is one exception, though. 

A mentally incompetent parent cannot revoke power of attorney. 

Also, creating a new power of attorney over parents revokes old POAs that were created. 

But only if the new power of attorney over an elderly parent states the old ones are voided. 

So, let’s talk about how to revoke power of attorney for elderly parents. 

If a new power of attorney is created, you’d state that any old POAs are voided. 

A child can revoke their power of attorney for elderly parents too. 

To do so, write a formal letter to the principal relinquishing your POA. 

Have this letter notarized and mail it to your parents to notify them. 

When Does Power Of Attorney End For Parents?

A power of attorney can end for parents for several reasons. 

A power of attorney for parents will end when:

  • the parent revokes the agreement or dies
  • when a court invalidates the POA for your parents
  • when the agent can no longer carry out the responsibilities outlined

When a power of attorney ends for parents, the agent loses all authority. 

And decisions that need to get made have to go through the probate process. 

Types Of Power Of Attorneys For Elderly Parents

There are several types of power of attorney for elderly parents. 

Related: Last Will and Testament

General Power Of Attorney

A general power of attorney for parents is a broad power of attorney. 

It gives the agent authority to act financially and legally on their parent’s behalf. 

A general POA is great for elderly parents who are still healthy. 

Some elderly parents will get a general POA just to get help with financial and personal matters. 

A general power of attorney for an elderly parent allows the child to:

  • sign documents on the parent’s behalf
  • open or close bank accounts
  • withdraw funds from bank accounts
  • buy or sell property, real estate, or assets
  • buy and sell stocks or crypto
  • pay bills that are in the parent’s name
  • cash checks made out to their parents
  • enter into contracts on behalf of their parent

But it’s important to note that a general power of attorney over a parent is non-durable. 

This means that if the parent becomes incapacitated, the POA becomes void. 

A parent getting dementia is an example of becoming incapacitated

Mental incapacity is when a parent is unable to make informed decisions.  

Mental incapacity also includes a parent’s:

  • inability to communicate decisions
  • going into a coma
  • being unconscious 
  • having complications with a surgery where they can’t communicate

When you’re looking at how to get power of attorney over a parent, consider a durable POA too. 

Related: Executor Not Communicating With Beneficiaries

Durable Power of Attorney For Elderly Parents

A durable power of attorney over a parent gives you authority even if your parents are incapacitated. 

A general POA’s authority becomes void when your parents become incapacitated. 

So, you lose your authority if they:

  • get dementia
  • go into a coma
  • get Alzheimer’s 
  • have a surgery that makes them incapable of making a medical decision
  • get into a terrible accident and can’t make medical decisions

These are just a couple of scenarios you can potentially face with elderly parents. 

Unless you have a durable power of attorney over a parent, you lose the ability to:

  • manage their finances
  • tell the doctor what medicines and treatment they prefer
  • pay for their medical bills
  • hire caregivers for them
  • sell their house and move them into assisted living
  • sell their possessions to pay for care

Basically, you legally lose all of your ability to help your parents. 

You should really have a durable power of attorney for elderly parents. 

This is a good option for parents that are fine, but it covers you in case they become incapacitated. 

Related: What Happens If A Will Is Not Probated

Medical Power of Attorney For Parents

A medical power of attorney is also known as a healthcare proxy or healthcare agent. 

This is a good POA to have when a parent is faced with:

  • medical treatment
  • surgical procedures
  • feeding tubes and artificial hydration
  • organ donation
  • selection of health care or senior living facilities
  • release of medical records

When you know medical treatments are looming, you should have a medical power of attorney. 

The medical POA will go into effect in the event that your parents become incapacitated. 

It’s your job to make sure that doctors follow your parent’s wishes as noted in the medical POA. 

In the event of end-of-life care, it allows you to make decisions for them. 

These decisions include, but are not limited to:

  • when/if you should pull the plug
  • what treatments your parents can receive
  • what medicines your parents can take
  • who will be their doctor
  • who will be their caregivers
  • who will provide hospice care, if needed
  • the nursing home that your parents go into

Limited Power of Attorney

A limited power of attorney over a parent gives kids limited power for a limited time. 

Normally, limited POAs are created for a specific task. 

It could be something like signing the paperwork on a parent’s behalf to sell a house. 

Related: Difference Between Executor and Trustee

Springing Power Of Attorney

A springing power of attorney for an elderly parent goes into effect when:

  • certain conditions are me, or;
  • your parent becomes incapacitated.

A durable POA goes into effect only when a parent becomes incapacitated. 

But a springing POA also can go into effect when conditions you designate are met. 

When creating a springing power of attorney for a parent, they designate their own conditions. 

Some common conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • being deployed for the military
  • you having a heart attack
  • you having an accident
  • you going out of the country
  • you having a seizure

A parent can make anything trigger their springing power of attorney.

Related: Penalty For Stealing From An Estate

How To Get Power Of Attorney For Elderly Parent

Let’s talk about the steps for how to get power of attorney for elderly parents. 

And everything you need to do to get power of attorney over a parent. 

Note that an estate planning lawyer would guide you through this. 

And they handle it all for you. 

But it’s okay to get a power of attorney for elderly parents without one. 

You can find power of attorney forms here

Related: Can An Executor Override A Beneficiary

Determine Your State's Requirements

You’ll need to figure out your state’s power of attorney laws

For example, some states require some, or all, of the following:

  • two witnesses
  • the POA to get notarized
  • a “wet signature”
  • mental competency of the parents

For example, a power of attorney in Georgia requires all of the above. 

But other states may not require you to have witnesses.

If you miss these requirements, the power of attorney for your parents is not valid. 

Which could be terrible in an emergency situation. 

Choose The Type Of Power Of Attorney For Elderly Parents

Choose the type of power of attorney for you’ll need for your parents. 

You can do general so that you can do anything for your parents. 

Or it can be limited so that you’re only responsible for certain tasks. 

But, whichever route you take, we suggest making a durable power of attorney for your parents. 

Related: Consequences Of Not Probating A Will

Consider Durable Power Of Attorney For Finances

A durable power of attorney for finances is really important for elderly parents. 

This will allow you to manage their finances when they become incapacitated. 

This includes:

  • paying their bills
  • getting access to their bank accounts
  • hiring caregivers to take care of them
  • using their assets to pay their everyday expenses
  • buying, selling, maintaining, paying taxes on, and mortgaging real estate and other property
  • collecting Social Security, Medicare, or other government benefits
  • investing their money in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds
  • handling transactions with banks and other financial institutions
  • buying and selling insurance policies and annuities for them
  • filing and paying their taxes
  • operating their small business
  • claiming property they inherit or are otherwise entitled to
  • transferring property to a trust they’ve already created
  • hiring someone to represent them in court
  • managing their retirement accounts

Discuss What Authority The Power Of Attorney Gives

Your parents need to decide what authority they want to provide you with the power of attorney. 

Let’s say that your parents are fine today, but they have been diagnosed with a degenerative condition. 

In this care, you’d want a durable power of attorney for your parents. 

And you’d want to be able to take over the finances and healthcare decisions for them. 

Without having to get approval from a judge or the medical team treating them. 

Let’s say that your parents are traveling in retirement. 

A non-durable power of attorney over your parents might be better. 

This way, you can handle any financial issues that come up while they are gone. 

Some examples of rights power of attorney over parents to discuss would be:

  • what financial decisions should you be able to make
  • what medical decisions can you make
  • if your parents are hospitalized, how do they want you to pay for the medical bills
  • would your parents want to try risky medical treatments
  • do they want to get taken off life support
  • how do they want you to maintain their home while they are gone
  • do they want you to manage their investment accounts

This is obviously not an all-inclusive list. 

It’s just some examples. 

Related: What An Executor Cannot Do

Get The Right Form For Power Of Attorney For Elderly Parents

You’ve figured out how to get power of attorney over a parent. 

And what type of power of attorney for an elderly parent you need. 

Now, it’s time to make sure that you have the correct power of attorney forms.

Make sure that the power of attorney form is durable or non-durable as needed. 

You can get the power of attorney forms by filling out the forms on this page. 

Or check out our estate planning products

Related: Disadvantages Of A Trust

Consult An Estate Planning Lawyer

You should consider consulting an estate planning lawyer

They have a comprehensive understanding of state-specific laws. 

And the laws for a power of attorney over a parent vary from state to state. 

You want your POA for elderly parents to reflect your unique needs. 

And you don’t want to be left powerless in an emergency because you did something wrong. 

Your lawyer can make sure that you have all the rights you’re seeking with a POA.

Related: What If The Executor Does Not Probate The Will

Execute And Distribute The Power Of Attorney

Executing a power of attorney is not hard. 

In most states, you’ll need to sign the power of attorney for an elderly parent:

  • with two witnesses present
  • in front of a notary

You do not need a lawyer to be present to sign a power of attorney for your parents. 

But most lawyers are also notaries. 

So, if you’re consulting an attorney, have them notarize your POA at the same time.

Note that the child receiving the power of attorney cannot be the witness for the signing. 

Having your POA notarized is the most important step. 

Most hospitals, doctors, banks, financial institutions require you to have a notarized POA. 

Otherwise, they won’t give you access or authority for anything. 

After you get the power of attorney for your elderly parents executed, make copies. 

Your parents should keep the original copy. 

And they should give copies to the proper people. 

They can CC you and email a copy to the following people:

  • their banks
  • their retirement providers
  • their doctors
  • their billing companies (mortgage, cars, etc.)

CC’ing you allows you to reference that email later on and talk to the person that received the POA. 

You do not need the original copy to make decisions on your parent’s behalf. 

Related: Can The Executor Of A Will Take Everything

FAQs For How To Get Power Of Attorney Over A Parent

Figuring out how to get power of attorney over a parent can be complex.

Here are some of the most common questions we get from our clients. 

How To Get Power Of Attorney For Parent With Dementia

Getting a power of attorney for a parent with dementia is more difficult. 

But how to get a power of attorney for a parent is not hard. 

You have two options, but it depends on what stage of dementia your parents have. 

If it’s early-stage dementia, you may be able to get a power of attorney over your parents. 

If it’s early-stage dementia, they may still have the capacity to understand:

  • what the document is
  • what it does
  • what they are approving

It’s important to consult an attorney when trying to get a power of attorney for a parent with dementia. 

You may need to get a written letter from the doctor who diagnosed dementia. 

Stating that your parents have the mental capacity to understand the power of attorney. 

It may seem dumb to you and your parents. 

But if their mental capacity can be in question, it can mess things up later. 

And the power of attorney for a parent with dementia can get contested. 

Which means you’ll have to go to court to get approved to have the authority. 

And you don’t want that when you’re in an emergency situation you need to make decisions in. 

Let’s talk about late-stage dementia now. 

Your parents won’t be of sound mind to sign a POA. 

You’ll need to petition the courts to get:

Related: Conservatorship vs Guardianship

How To Get Power Of Attorney For Incapacitated Parent

You’re trying to figure out how to get power of attorney for an incapacitated parent. 

The first thing you should do is check if they have a living will

And, if they do, see if they have given you power of attorney in the living will

Let’s assume, for this discussion, that you do not have power of attorney for an incapacitated parent. 

You’ll need to petition the courts to get power of attorney over an incapacitated parent. 

But they won’t give you power of attorney. 

They will give you conservatorship and guardianship. 

This gives you the authority you need to make decisions on their behalf.

And manage their finances if needed. 

Related: Do You Need Guardianship If You Have Power Of Attorney

How Do I Get Power Of Attorney For My Mom?

Getting a power of attorney for your mom allows you to act legally on her behalf. 

To get a power of attorney for your mom:

  1. obtain and fill out a power of attorney form
  2. decide, with your mom, what authority and power of attorney you need
  3. have your mother sign a power of attorney and get it notarized
  4. make copies and distribute the power of attorney fro your mom

Related: How To Get A Will

What To Do When Elderly Parent Is Mentally Incompetent

You want to know what to do when an elderly parent is mentally incompetent. 

Let’s assume you don’t have a power of attorney. 

This means that you cannot make decisions on their behalf. 

You can’t access medical records or make medical decisions for them. 

You can’t access their financials to pay bills and access money. 

Basically, you’re a sitting duck. 

And you cannot help your parents when they need help the most. 

But you do have options. 

Here’s what to do when an elderly parent is mentally incompetent.

You can apply to become their guardian and conservator. 

You’ll need a written note from a doctor declaring them mentally incompetent. 

The judge will review this evidence with your petition. 

And grant you authority over an elderly parent who is mentally incompetent. 

How To Get Power Of Attorney Over A Parent

If you want a reliable, attorney-created power of attorney, fill out the form below.

Our experienced attorneys will create your power of attorney, which means:

  • you can make sure your POA abides by the laws
  • you have confidence you have the correct power of attorney set up
  • you don’t have to hire a notary to show up to the signing
  • you don’t have to find witnesses to show up at the signing
  • you get FREE revisions for 30 days

Fill out the form below and we will reach out and get the ball rolling.

Talk soon.

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