A power of attorney (POA) is an important legal form that allows someone else to make medical or financial decisions. If your mom cannot speak for herself, she could designate a person (also known as an agent or proxy) to speak up for her. To grant someone this permission, she needs to have a POA drafted.
Start by making sure your mom has advance directives in place. These are instructions that guide people into her wishes for medical treatments. Once that’s set, she needs to choose an agent.
Have Her Choose People to Be Her Agents
Your mom may want one person to be her agent for both medical and financial decisions. She may prefer to have different people fill each role. She needs to make sure her agent is legally able to make decisions. To be an agent, you have to be 18 years of age.
Your mom cannot name her doctor or an employee at her medical office as her agent. She also could not choose an owner or director of a nursing home or assisted living community. Once she’s come up with a list of possible agents, your mom has to talk to those people and make sure they’re comfortable making those decisions.
Being a POA is a great responsibility. It may seem easy, but the decisions are often challenging. You’re already stressed, but now you have to choose something that adds to your distress.
Suppose your mom has Alzheimer’s disease and names you as her agent. Years from now, she’s stops eating. She’s still able to hold your hand and smiles when she sees you, but she’s losing weight. Her doctors and nurses recommend she be given protein shakes and IV fluids to prevent additional weight loss and malnutrition.
Your mom noted in her advance directive that she doesn’t want to be kept alive with artificial nutrition. You’re not sure that IV nutrients are acceptable to her. It can be challenging to decide in this situation, but your role as an agent is to do what your mom would want.
Talk to an Attorney in Elder Law
Once your mom has chosen her agent, call an attorney who specializes in elder law. While you can create powers of attorney online, it’s best to have an expert in elder law draft them. People have used free powers of attorney forms online to save money. But, doctors refuse to accept them as being legal.
With the help of an elder law expert, your mom knows her forms are legal in her state and cannot be refused. Schedule an appointment to learn more about drafting powers of attorney for financial and medical protection.
If you or a loved need assistance with Power of Attorney Mountain Brook, AL contact Nolan Elder Law & Estate Planning today. (205) 390-0101