How Can I Obtain a Power of Attorney for My Dad?

POSTED ON: March 31, 2022

For those of us involved as care providers for someone having difficulty handling his/her own affairs, whether it’s a family member or not, requires that we have the legal authority to do what’s in that person’s best interest.

How Can I Obtain a Power of Attorney for My Dad?

Tyron Daily Bulletin’s recent article entitled “How to get power of attorney for a loved one” says the person granting you that power, known as the “principal,” or under Louisiana law, the “mandatary”, must designate you as the agent (also known as attorney in fact) to have the powers specified in the POA document. it must be signed by the principal while he or she is sound of mind.  A power of attorney is also called a “mandate” under Louisiana law.

Talk to an elder law attorney to understand what Louisiana law says about powers of attorney. Note that you cannot get a POA if someone is already incapacitated because the principal of the POA must be able to sufficiently comprehend what a POA document represents and the effects of signing it. He or she must clearly communicate their intentions.  That is why it is vitally important to have your estate plan in place well before your loved one becomes incapacitated.

The agent of a POA must always act in the best interests of the principal. This can include managing the principal’s financial interests or overseeing the principal’s healthcare and may make decisions about their care and treatment.

Even if the principal is in good health now, it is smart to plan for potential challenges. You never know when an injury or illness may take away that person’s capacity to manage finances or make important decisions about medical care. The most opportune time to start considering power of attorney is before a parent or loved one requires any caregiving.

Keep in mind that not all powers of attorney are created equal.  Even with a power of attorney, if it does not have particular language, certain types of sophisticated Medicaid planning would not be able to be done on your behalf.  Your power of attorney should be broad enough to be able to do this planning.  If it does not, your family may have to institute an “interdiction” proceeding against you (called “guardianship” in other states).  The process can be expensive and time consuming.

Talk with an elder law attorney about establishing a POA. Remember, the principal must be part of the conversation and cannot be mentally incapacitated.

BOOK A CALL with me, Ted Vicknair, Board Certified Estate Planning and Administration Specialist, Board Certified Tax Law Specialist, and CPA to learn more about estate planning, incapacity planning, and asset protection.

If you liked this article, “How Can I Obtain a Power of Attorney for My Dad?” read these additional articles: How Much was Stolen from Elderly Client? and Can End-of-Life Planning Increase Control for Cancer Patients? and How Do I Protect Myself and My Children in a Second Marriage? and Can I Add Children’s Names to my House Deed? and What Is a Trust and How Does It Work?

Reference: Tyron Daily Bulletin (March 7, 2022) “How to get power of attorney for a loved one”

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