It may be uncomfortable, and the reality of the matter may be sad, but adult children often need to take charge of their aging parents. This can include ensuring that their aging parents will be able to pay for long-term care if they need it and have the right legal documents in place to ensure caregiving and end-of-life decisions are properly made.

One of the best ways to ensure these goals can be accomplished, especially at a time of diminished capacity, is through a Florida durable power of attorney.

Through a Florida durable power of attorney, your elder parent can grant you, as the adult child, legal authority to make decisions on his or her behalf in a crisis. In other words, your parent is legally granting a designated adult child or any other designated confidant, as long as the choice is of your parent’s own free will, the right to make decisions on his or her behalf.

A durable power of attorney is an advanced directive. In Florida, there are different kinds of advance directives including powers of attorney, health care advanced directives, and pre-need guardians. Each of these is an important part of your and your parent’s Florida estate plan.

Let us share a reason why the durable power of attorney is particularly important. Let’s say your parent develops dementia, suffers a serious illness, or he or she has an accident rendering him or her “mentally incompetent.” What happens now? If your parent has created a durable power of attorney, it would automatically resolve those questions. Through this document, their agent would have the legal authority to care for your parent and ensure their bills are paid, their assets managed, and their long-term care needs are met. With such an important document in play, your parent may want to consider taking the extra step of naming another trusted representative as a backup to the primary agent.

A power of attorney document with a durability provision is critical to ensuring peace of mind for an elder parent as well as their loved ones. Do you have questions right now on this or any other elder law issue? Do not wait to contact our office for assistance today.