How does misinformation about the responsibilities of POA and HCP get spread?


I have read several posts where people comment on being listed as a POA but do not know what is involved. Sometimes people say they did not know they had been listed as POA.

I am curious, how can that happen?

When Mum updated her will, DPOA and HCP, I had to meet with her lawyer. He discussed the ramifications of my accepting the responsibility for the DPOA and HCP. I was given a copy of each document (not the will) after my signature was witnessed by two people.

I am also executrix of her will, but will not see a copy of that document before she passes, unless Mum decides for some reason to show it to me. There is one unusual bequest that she did tell me about.

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I think one of the major misconceptions is that someone appointed under any kind of directive, whether it's medical or legal, assumes that he/she "has POA OVER" another person.

Control is not created in that sense. It's a fiduciary responsibility, not a control issue.

That seems to be one of major misunderstandings.

And the duties authorized are stated in the document. Sometimes they're very specific, sometimes they're more broadly described, but those are also limitations. It doesn't give anyone the authority to start taking control and make decisions that are not specifically for the benefit of the individual authorizing that control.
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Reply to GardenArtist

I probably drove my mother to the lawyer to have her POA done but I was never asked to agree or required to sign anything. From following this topic on the forum I know that every jurisdiction has their own rules about this, with any legal documents you need to remember that just because they do it one way where you live doesn't mean you can ever assume it is the same way everywhere else.
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Reply to cwillie

Tothill, I also had to sign at the Attorney's office that I would accept the responsibility of being a Power of Attorney for each of my parents, and it was Notarized.

Sometimes I wonder if a person pulls a blank generic Power of Attorney off of a website, not realizing States have their own laws regarding a POA. That could be where the confusion comes in. Or the person thinks this can be done verbally with no paperwork involved at all.
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Reply to freqflyer

One way misinformation is spread is by people who are not specifically knowledgable about the legalities and purposes of these documents making assumptions and not verifying the basic facts. I've seen that a lot here.

Legal documents shouldn't be interpreted by someone w/o legal guidance.
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Reply to GardenArtist