I have been asked to be the POA. Where do I go from here?

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I posted a question yesterday about who can help me with a POA. Let me rephrase that. Where do I go from here? I'm caring for my elderly parent. Thanks!

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Is all the other paperwork in place? For example, does your parent have a will? Advanced health care directive? A lawyer can help with all these things as well as the financial and medical POAs. Might your parent need to apply for Medicaid? An Elder Law attorney can help prepare for that process.

If there are other relatives who might be upset by your parent's decisions, then by all means go through a lawyer. If Medicaid may be in the future, consult a lawyer now. A lawyer can come out to Parent's house if getting out is difficult. Parent's signature must be notarized.

You can also download a POA form valid in your state, fill it out for your parent, have parent's signature notarized, and, if required in your state, file it at the designated agency. Having a lawyer involved now may save you grief down the road, though, and I would not consider a DIY approach if there could be any contention later, or if Medicaid might be needed later.

Note that Parent will have to be able to understand what they are signing. Dementia does not automatically rule this out, depending on cognitive ability at the time of the signature.

What then? You will probably want to send copies of the document to businesses you will deal with on your parent's behalf, such as insurance companies. The healthcare directive (medical POA) should be on file in the health care clinics and hospitals your parent typically uses.
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