Your loved one is aging and you realize that they soon may not be able to make decisions on their own any longer. You may assume that as their son or daughter you will automatically become the Power of Attorney, but that is not the case. There are several steps one must go through while still of sound mind in order to appoint a Power of Attorney.
While your loved one can still make decisions, it’s important to help them put together a medical wish list.
- Who I want making medical decision for me when I can’t.
- The kind of medical treatment I want or don’t want.
- How comfortable I want to be.
- How I want people to treat me.
- What I want my loved ones to know.
- How to get the required forms:
-Either from a lawyer’s office or any source that offers legal documents.
-You should also be able to download most forms online for low prices or even for free.
- Help your loved one fill out the forms thoroughly.
-Ask a lawyer if you have questions, and go over them with all parties to ensure everything is clear and agreed upon.
- Have the papers notarized.
-Visit a local notary public and sign the papers in the presence of the notary. You can usually find a notary at your bank or at any law office.
- Both parties, the POA and the aging individual, should keep a copy of the signed documents, however the POA should keep the original.
If your loved ones resist speaking about designating a POA, explain the alternatives of choosing to not designate a POA. If they decide to not name a POA, the court may make the decision for them without their input. However if they name their own POA, whomever they name must follow their instructions in every way possible.