Finding someone who is trustworthy, and can communicate comfortably with your older loved one is key.
- Posted on May 7, 2019
One of the most invaluable things you can do for your loved one is to guide him or her in establishing a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care or Finances. Having these documents can give your older family member or friend the peace of mind that comes with knowing that a carefully chosen person will make important health care or financial decisions on his or her behalf if necessary. This agent will act only after your loved one’s physician has declared that he or she cannot make such decisions independently. So naturally, the person selected as agent should be someone who can be trusted not to abuse the position, and who will respect the desires of your loved one and act in his or her best interests. Another major consideration is to find someone with whom your loved one can easily communicate preferences and wishes.
You can assist your loved one in selecting a Power of Attorney agent, by identifying somebody who is:
On the flip side, a Power of Attorney agent should not be:
An important consideration in drawing up a Power of Attorney for Finances is that your loved one may be worried about financial abuse. He or she may have serious concerns about the funds being misused, or about the agent changing crucial information such as names of beneficiaries or recipients of charitable donations. To protect your loved one’s financial arrangements, you can encourage him or her to:
In the event that your loved one is declared mentally unfit, it may fall to you or other close relatives to remove an agent who is abusing his or her authority. If you need to report Power of Attorney abuse, you can do so in the following ways:
If a court finds evidence that the agent has acted outside the authority of the Power of Attorney, or contrary to your loved one’s interests, it may take various possible courses of action, depending on the seriousness of the agent’s offense. Among them are: