Losing a parent is never an easy experience to go through. Whether you knew your parent’s passing was close or it came as a sudden shock, the event likely put a lot of things in perspective for you. In particular, you may now feel a greater pull to ensure that your surviving parent has the help he or she needs to get through the years without your other parent.
If your living parent has passed retirement age, the likelihood increases that he or she may need long-term care or other forms of assistance in coming years. As a result, you may want to encourage your parent to take steps to ensure that you can help as much as possible when needed. Specifically, asking your parent to create a financial power of attorney document may be wise.
Why a power of attorney?
If your parent becomes incapacitated or unable to properly handle his or her affairs with a clear mind, you want to know that your parent’s financial affairs will not fall into the hands of just anyone. You may need to step in and take over your parent’s money matters, such as paying bills and depositing Social Security or other funds. If your parent has not created a power of attorney document that gives you that ability, you may have to take other, more complicated, legal steps to gain that power.
Essentially, this document will allow you to act in your parent’s stead if he or she cannot make sound decisions. By creating this document early, meaning while your parent is still of sound mind, you can both rest assured that you can smoothly take over the affairs if needed.
Other types of POAs
It may also be worthwhile to keep in mind that different types of POAs exist, such as ones that would allow you to make medical decisions for your parent or that only go into effect under certain circumstances. If your parent feels hesitant to relinquish control or you worry that your parent may think you are trying to make a money grab, discussing these options may help him or her feel more in control and understand that a POA does not necessarily give you unlimited or immediate power.
Taking the time to express your concern and show that you are only looking out for your parent’s best interests may help the conversation go more smoothly. If your parent feels ready to put a POA into effect, you may want to gain information on how to create this legally binding document in Florida.