As your parents age, they may face challenges managing their financial and medical affairs, which can be overwhelming for you and your siblings. One way to avoid disputes and ensure that your elderly parent’s affairs are well-handled is to give a power of attorney to someone you trust.
Power of attorney is a legal document allowing one person to stand in for another in financial, legal and healthcare decisions. Here’s how this document can prevent family disputes.
1. It provides a clear decision-making authority
Financial decision-making can be triggering when everyone is insisting on their way. Luckily, a power of attorney provides a clear decision-making authority. This prevents disputes among family members who may disagree on what is best for their elderly parents.
For instance, if one family member wishes to sell the parent’s home to pay for long-term care, while another family member prefers to keep the house, an agent with the Power of Attorney can resolve the disagreement. The agent can make decisions based on your parents’ wishes, as stated in the power of attorney document.
2. It outlines specific instructions and limitations
A power of attorney document can outline specific instructions and limitations on the agent’s authority, clarifying what decisions the agent can and cannot make. This ensures the agent acts in the principal’s best interest.
For example, it can specify that the agent only uses the principal’s funds for necessary medical expenses and long-term care. This can prevent family disputes over how the parent’s assets are used.
3. It reduces the likelihood of court intervention
With no power of attorney in place, your family members may need to go to court to establish guardianship or conservatorship to manage the affairs of your elderly parents. This can be a time-consuming and costly process that often leads to family disputes.
Having a power of attorney can reduce the likelihood of court intervention since it gives room for decision-making and ensures the parent’s affairs are managed per their wishes. Even though there are many approaches to managing the affairs of elderly parents, the best way to prevent family disputes over elderly parents is by leveraging power of attorney.