Powers of Attorney in Elder Law FAQ

Powers of Attorney are a useful tool for people of all ages, but especially for those who are growing older and beginning to anticipate and plan for eventual medical needs. At Tucker Legal Services, LLC, we receive questions about Powers of Attorney and the role they play in elder law. Today, we’re answering some of the questions we hear frequently about their special importance in elder law.

What is a Financial Power of Attorney?

A Financial Power of Attorney is a document that grants a person or organization (called the “attorney-in-fact”) the legal ability to manage the financial and legal affairs of someone else (called the “principal”).  In Elder Law, an attorney-in-fact holds broader powers to help manage all assets, including business transactions, oversee investments, create trusts, and work with government benefits such as Medicaid. It also includes gifting and signing caregiver agreements.

What is a Healthcare Power of Attorney?

A Healthcare Power of Attorney appoints a capable adult to help a senior with important medical decisions, and possibly access medical records on his or her behalf.  Part of the Healthcare Power of Attorney includes an advance healthcare directive. An Advance Healthcare Directive, known commonly as a Living Will, sets out end-of-life decisions  Seniors should also make decisions regarding forced feedings in case of Dementia or Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

Who Qualifies as an Attorney-in-Fact?

An adult of “sound mind, who is at least 21 years or older may be named as an Attorney-in-Fact. You may name different people to act as your financial and healthcare agent.  You need to choose a person who is trustworthy and is able to responsibly handle financial assets on your behalf. You want to name a person, whom you trust to advocate for your end-of-life choices. 

Why are Powers of Attorney Important to have?

In the event of incapacity, the person you appoint as your financial attorney-in-fact may be named the Conservator of your estate.  The person you appoint as your healthcare attorney-in-fact may become your Guardian in case you become legally incapacitated. Without powers of attorney in place, Guardianship and Conservatorship are placed in the hands of Probate Court, which has higher legal expenses and consequences.  By having powers of attorney in place, you control the choice of the person you want to help you in your senior years.

How do I create a Power of Attorney?

Powers of Attorney are revocable and your choices may be changed at any given time in life. You will need the help of an experienced attorney to create valid Powers of Attorney that meets specific needs in your Senior years. Sheri Tucker, Esq. with Tucker Legal Services, LLC is eager to discuss your options with you. She has helped countless clients plan for their futures. If you’re located in Missouri and need to start planning, or just want to learn more, call Tucker Legal Services, LLC at (314) 332-0011.

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Tucker Legal Services LLC

When you choose Tucker Legal Services, LLC, you choose an experienced attorney and law firm that believes an estate plan is a life plan. The firm strives to build lifelong relationships with clients and help them adjust their plans as their needs change. The firm’s goal isn’t just to help you with an estate plan and send you on your way.
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