There’s more than just one type of Power of Attorney (POA) available for elder law purposes. They include medical, financial, real estate only, durable, and springing Powers of Attorney. The two most common, though, are durable and springing. The following explains everything you need to know about the two and how they impact your elder care planning.
It’s important to note the differences between a springing POA and a durable POA. While both documents allow your agents – the person or persons you choose to represent you – to handle your financial affairs for you, they take effect at different times. A springing POA gives your agent authority to act on your behalf if you are deemed medically unable to make financial decisions for yourself. Once you’ve recovered and can make your own decisions again, your agent may no longer make financial decisions for you.
A durable POA gives your agents the authority to act on your behalf at the moment the document is signed. The only way your agents may lose that ability is if you draft a new power of attorney and remove their authority. While springing POAs are used in elder care planning, the fact that the power granted to agents in a durable power of attorney does not go away after a certain time makes it a type that is most often used in elder law.
As many seniors have found out, it becomes more difficult to get to the bank and handle financial tasks. Oftentimes, seniors do not want the responsibility of paying bills each month and would rather have someone else handle it. For these reasons, a durable power of attorney makes it easier for adult children or caretakers to handle financial affairs for their parents or elderly loved ones. In other cases, the transition from senior to agent becomes easier if the senior were to suddenly become incapacitated and can no longer make decisions since the agent can seamlessly move into the role of financial caretaker without the need to involve a doctor.
If you have more questions about creating a power of attorney as part of your elder care planning, or if you’d like to have your current power of attorney reviewed to make sure it still fits your needs, please contact our Ohio elder law office at 877-653-3450 to schedule a complimentary initial consultation.