Power of attorney can empower an individual, the agent, to make decisions on behalf of their elderly parent or parents. This authority becomes particularly important as aging parents may face challenges in managing their financial, health care and legal matters.
It is a responsibility that requires diligence, transparency and a commitment to acting in the best interests of the elderly parent.
Financial decision-making authority
About 16.9% of the population of Virginia is 65 and older, and some of these seniors may need help in multiple ways. Power of attorney grants the agent the authority to make financial decisions on behalf of the elderly parent.
This encompasses managing bank accounts, handling investments and making financial transactions. The agent has the responsibility of ensuring the financial well-being of the elderly parent and making decisions that align with the parent’s best interests.
Health care decision-making authority
In Virginia, the power of attorney also extends to health care decisions. This includes the power to make medical choices, access medical records and communicate with health care professionals on behalf of the elderly parent. The agent becomes the voice for the parent in matters related to health, ensuring that medical decisions are in line with the parent’s wishes and well-being.
Legal decision-making authority
Legal matters can be complex, and the power of attorney grants the agent the authority to handle legal affairs on behalf of the elderly parent. This may involve signing legal documents, representing the parent in legal proceedings and managing any legal issues that may arise.
Responsibilities and accountability
Having power of attorney is not casual. It comes with significant responsibilities. The agent must act in the best interests of the elderly parent. Additionally, the agent must keep accurate records of all transactions and decisions, ensuring transparency and accountability.
Understanding the scope of authority and the obligations that come with power of attorney is necessary for adult children who have this important role.