The Legal Document Everyone Needs, But So Few Have:

Please Share

By Carolyn L. Rosenblatt, RN, Attorney, Mediator

IMG_0005_5

Adult children of aging parents think it won’t happen to their parents.  Aging parents are in denial themselves about getting older. Then, crisis hits.

“Jeanine” called AgingParents.com with this typical question: “My Dad and Mom both have Alzheimer’s.  Dad is acting weird lately.  Mom is not doing well.  My sister and I agree that we need to get Dad to stop dealing with the checkbook.  He forgets and doesn’t pay the bills. We’re having a disagreement with our brother about what to do.  He thinks they’ll be all right and we should honor their independence.  What can we do?”

One of the first questions I ask  as an elder law attorney when this kind of thing comes up is whether anyone has a durable power of attorney.  In Jeanine’s case the parents had made each other the power of attorney for themselves.  Not smart.  Now both are incapacitated mentally and it is not clear whether either is competent to sign a new durable power of attorney (DPOA) to ensure financial safety when they can’t handle their own financial affairs.   We will assess Dad and find out. We advise the adult kids accordingly.

The bad news is that our society seems to be in denial that we age. We lose our abilities.  We need help. We pretend that we’ll take care of the legal stuff “later, when I get old”.  When is that?

The good news is that a durable power of attorney form is free, downloadable, and easy to fill out. You need a notary, but it does not require a lawyer unless you don’t understand the meaning of what is being signed or aren’t sure whom to appoint as the agent.   Then it makes sense to get legal advice.  Low income persons can normally get low cost or free legal advice for this kind of issue.

A DPOA is a powerful document with grave consequences in the wrong hands.  The person appointed to be the agent on this document may eventually have full control over the finances, property and future living arrangements of the person signing it.  Therefore, choice of the agent must be made very carefully.  Anyone with a history of drug or alcohol abuse, or criminal activity or poor management of his/her own finances is not a good choice for an agent.

If you are a baby boomer with aging parents, and your parents are over the age of 70, we urge you to have a meeting and discuss what would happen if a parent became incapacitated.  They don’t have to hand over the checkbook now.  But, being prepared for their future can save everyone a lot of grief, money and stress later on.

Tiny URL for this post:
 

Please Share
JUST RELEASED “The Family Guide To Aging Parents”
Stack Of CashCheck out our latest website: AgingInvestor.com click HERE to learn more
FREE Report: “One Critical Step You Must Take To Avoid Your Aging Parents Debts”
CLICK on the image Below
Testimonials by our readers
"Thank you for the article on the "grey area". It validated what I am currently going through with my Mother. It is so painful for me to go back and forth with her behavior. I just don't know what to do about the estranged sister who has exploited well over $50K of my mother's savings and my Mothers admitted " lack of "will power" to say no to her." Robert ________________________________ "I do want to thank you for the Webinar you offered. It helped me a great deal as I was facing the need to lead our family in finding a safe living situation for our mother. That information and the other information you offered as downloads gave me much needed guidance when I was feeling tremendous anxiety and uncertainty." Betty
FREE Report: 10 Warning Signs Your Aging Parent Needs Help With Money
Get Quick Tips – Newsletter FREE…. Just CLICK Below
Categories
Archives
  • Removing Secrecy In Nursing Home Wrongdoing October 5, 2016
    After 25 years without changes in basic rules, the nursing home industry is finally being forced to reveal hidden wrongs that happen to residents. Until now, consumers were required to sign arbitration agreements when they were admitted to a nursing…Read more ›
    Mikol Davis
  • Resolving Family Conflict and Aging Parent Issues September 30, 2016
    Resolving Family Conflict and Aging Parent Issues – Carolyn Rosenblatt In this interview, Carolyn Rosenblatt, Co-Founder of AgingParents.com, AgingInvestor.com,  and Author of “The Boomers Guide to Aging Parents,” The Family Guide To Aging Parents,” and Succeed With Senior Clients: A…Read more ›
    Mikol Davis
  • Three Tips For Talking To Aging Parents About Costs Of Future Care April 28, 2016
    Three Tips For Talking To Aging Parents About Costs Of Future Care by Carolyn Rosenblatt, RN, Elder Law Attorney Can you imagine your aging parents losing their independence? It might be the conversation they don’t want to have with you.…Read more ›
    Mikol Davis
  • Department of Public Health Takes “See No Evil, Hear No Evil” Approach to Nursing Home Abuse August 24, 2015
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 24, 2015 CONTACT: Mike Connors, CANHR (415) 974-5171 mike@canhr.org Julie Pollock, CANHR (415) 974-5171 julie@canhr.org Department of Public Health Takes “See No Evil, Hear No Evil” Approach to Nursing Home Abuse San Francisco — The California…Read more ›
    Mikol Davis
FREE Report: Mental Wellness Technique For Stress Relief