Do you know if your parents have created an estate plan, including a durable power of attorney? Right now is the perfect time for this question. Even though your parents are healthy now, what would happen if one or both of them were to suddenly become incapacitated? For example, one or both might lose their mental or physical capacity due to an accident, a sudden decline in health, or the inevitable factors that come as they age. Be aware that if your parents are not able to make plans for themselves, you may need a Court to appoint a guardian for your parents to help make decisions for them. Most certainly, your parents, you and your family want to avoid this situation, so what can you do? You and your family can help your aging parents by encouraging them to plan ahead and meet with an experienced Florida elder law attorney and obtain a power of attorney and other necessary documents as soon as possible, definitely before they may actually be needed.

When your parents have a power of attorney they can allow someone to help them make decisions or carry them out. The person empowered with decision making power is called the agent. You or a family member who lives close to your parents may wish to act as the agent. The most important part of this decision about selecting an agent or agents is that by planning ahead, while your parents have capacity, they make the choice. The completed durable of attorney will keep a Judge from having to appoint a guardian for your parents.

As you and your parents talk about their power of attorney, it is important to know that there is more than one type of power of attorney. To begin, your parents should consider what type of authority your parents want to grant and to whom. Your parents could establish a general power of attorney intended to enable financial decision-making, like paying bills or handling investments. However, establishing a durable power of attorney means that the authority granted by the power of attorney will remain intact even if your parents become incapacitated.

Remember, if your parents, you and your family avoid making these decisions together, a Judge could end up making them for you later. This is, most importantly, why your aging parents should have a power of attorney in place right now. Then your parents, you and your family can have peace of mind that if one or both of your parents become incapacitated there is a power of attorney in place, and someone is authorized to make decisions if necessary.

Planning for the future is critical to ensure that your goals and wishes for the future are achieved. We know this article may raise more questions that it answers. Our Elder Law firm is willing and available to answer any questions and to help in any way. We do telephone, computer, and face-to-face appointments. Our face-to-face appointments are held outside in the open air (frequently selected by clients for document signing) and inside our office conference room. We follow all CDC guidelines. Our office procedures adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols and are designed and enhanced by medical review and air quality engineering.