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Thinking of giving someone power of attorney?

Sometimes elder people are unable to make important decisions due to deteriorating health conditions. In such cases, a durable power of attorney may allow the elderly patient to appoint someone to oversee all the financial-, legal- and health-related decisions. In the agreement, the person who gives power is referred to as the principal, while the receiver is called the agent. The agent is usually a family member or a trusted relative who is close to the principal.

Power of attorney for healthcare allows the agent to make all health-based decisions for the principal while the power of attorney for finances gives them the authority to make all the legal/financial decisions on behalf of the principal person. It is important to make these decisions long before having any health issues. It is advisable to think long and hard before deciding on an agent, because you will be trusting them with all your decisions.

The agreement may be drafted to transfer power and responsibility as soon as possible. Usually it comes into effect when the principal is no longer capable of making their own decisions. Having an agent is essential, especially for people who suffer from diseases that might incapacitate them in the future, like Alzheimer's. Giving someone power of attorney for your heath also gives them the right to do all your crucial Medicaid planning, and decide on a course of action in case your condition gets worse.

It is important to understand power of attorney and its scope in order to start the process. You might want to speak to an experienced attorney, who will be able to consider your situation and help you draft a reasonable agreement for transfer of power.

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