Power of Attorney (POA): Caregiver Information and Resources
A power of attorney (POA) document is an important component of elder care that provides peace of mind for both a senior and their caregiver. A properly executed POA provides written authorization that enables a person (called the “principal”) to appoint a trusted relative or friend (called the “agent” or “attorney-in-fact”), to handle specific health care decisions or legal and financial responsibilities on their behalf.
There are two types of POA: a general durable POA takes effect on signing without having to prove incapacitation. The other—called a “springing power”—only becomes effective upon the determination by a physician that an individual is unable to make their own decisions regarding their property or care.
Families should prepare these legal documents long before incapacitation is a factor. Without medical and financial POA, family members must go through a great deal of red tape and expense to obtain guardianship so they can make decisions on an aging or ill loved one’s behalf.
Use AgingCare’s POA resources as your guide to understanding and obtaining power of attorney. Explore expert articles as well as power of attorney questions and conversations in the Caregiver Forum. Get answers and tips from the experience of other caregivers when preparing and using this important legal document to help an aging parent or loved one.
Power of Attorney (POA) Articles
Power of Attorney Explained
One of the most powerful tools for managing your affairs should you become mentally incapacitated is a durable power of attorney (DPOA). Understand the legal powers and responsibilities of assigning and holding POA.14 Comments
Springing vs. Durable Power of Attorney: What’s the Difference?
Power of attorney (POA) documents are an important part of a person's legal plans. The way a POA is written determines when it goes into effect and specifies what powers the agent holds.94 Comments
Things You Can and Can't Do With Power of Attorney
Whether you’ve been named as someone else’s power of attorney (POA) or you’re looking to appoint one for yourself, know what rights, responsibilities and limitations come with this legal designation.173 Comments
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Power of Attorney Document?
It’s easy to purchase an affordable power of attorney form online, but this option comes with some risks. An elder law attorney can explain how this tool works, help you avoid pitfalls and customize POA documents to meet your unique needs.15 Comments
How to Sign as Power of Attorney for Your Elderly Parent
When acting as power of attorney (POA) for a loved one, your signature must make it clear that you are acting on their behalf and not assuming personal responsibility for the contract or transaction.1 Comment
When POA Isn’t Enough: Authorizations Needed to Act on a Loved One’s Behalf
Power of attorney documents allow caregivers to access personal information and make vital decisions for elderly loved ones, but some institutions require additional forms. See what other authorizations you may need to get.19 Comments
What to Do When the Bank Refuses a Financial POA Document
Sometimes even a legally prepared power of attorney (POA) document is refused by the bank. Know why financial institutions hesitate to grant POAs access to accounts and how to remedy this situation.48 Comments
Power of Attorney (POA) Questions
I'm new to all this and need a lot of advice, please?6 Answers
How can I find POA paperwork and will? I'm POA and never received a copy.36 Answers
My peace was short lived. Any advice on dealing with my difficult mother?23 Answers
Can a POA decide who visits and who doesn’t?33 Answers
Power of Attorney (POA) Discussions
Cautionary tale for those volunteer caregivers who are not also the POA.6 Comments
How do I end my power of attorney?3 Comments
Having responsible parents and POA.4 Comments
My only sibling who is co-agent/co-executor, refuses to communicate or provide any information or even answer a simple question. Any advice?6 Comments
Frequently Asked Questions about Power of Attorney (POA)
Power of Attorney (POA) Related Topics
- Advance Directive
- Alzheimer's & Dementia
- Care Decisions
- Cognitive Decline
- Elder Law
- Estate Planning
- Family Caregiver
- Financial Planning
- Financial POA
- Forms & Documents
- Health Care Directives
- Living Will
- Medical POA
- New to Caregiving
- Paying for Care
- Representative Payee
- Senior Housing