A Power of Attorney is an integral part of estate planning; it is a legal document which allows someone else the ability to act on your behalf to control your finances and assets. If you ever become incapacitated or unable to look after your finances, a POA ensures that you won’t have to worry.
So, what would happen if you were suddenly given control over say, your elderly parents’ finances? What would you do? Would you know what your roles and duties as your parents’ Attorney would be? It’s important to also note that a POA can make someone vulnerable to abuse, so if you feel that a family member is abusing their Power of Attorney, there are steps you can take, including legal action.
If you are appointed as Attorney for your parents, it’s important to note the following: a) recognize the signs dementia or the need for you take over your parent’s finances, b) rehearse and prepare the conversation you’re going to have with your parent’s about becoming their Attorney, and c) keep proper records of your parent’s finances. Those are the basics of what you should do as Attorney. It’s also important to keep the financial records in one place, not scattered all over a residence.
Check out this informative article form MONEYSENSE for answers on overseeing your parents’ finances: Looking after Mom and Dad.