As your parent grows older, you may realize that they can no longer operate with the type of independence they used to enjoy. The state of Maryland allows children to obtain power of attorney over their elderly parents to protect your parents’ health and wishes.
Your parents’ estate plans
The easiest way to establish a power of attorney for your elderly parents involves their estate planning. When your parent starts to consider what will happen to their property after their death, they should also consider what will happen to them or their property if they become incapacitated. During estate planning, your parent can take the following steps to make sure that you will become their power of attorney:
- Select their power of attorney.
- Decide which powers they wish to grant.
- Determine if the finances and health care decisions will be split or decided by a single power of attorney.
- Fill out a legal power of attorney form.
- Sign the form in front of a notary public.
- Discuss the decision with other members of your family.
Instead of filling out a power of attorney form, your parents may designate a power of attorney in their living will. A legally binding living will need two witnesses.
Obtaining power of attorney without estate planning
If your elderly parent does not have a will and has not made plans for a power of attorney, you may need to go before a judge and ask for a conservatorship. To do so, you will need to prove that your parent is mentally or physically incapacitated.
Discussing death with your elderly parents may cause you discomfort. But discussing the role of power of attorney now can ensure that their health and property remain protected in the future.