How to Obtain a Power of Attorney for an Alzheimer's Parent

By Robin Elizabeth Margolis

An estimated 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, according to the Alzheimer's Association 2011 report. This neurological illness creates a dementia that slowly damages the brain, eroding the ability to think, speak, remember facts and walk. If you are caring for an Alzheimer's patient, you may eventually need to obtain a power of attorney, a legal document that allows you to conduct your family member's affairs when he has trouble carrying out routine activities such paying bills or answering letters.

Step 1

Learn about the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. The Alzheimer's Association lists the following warning signals: loss of memory, trouble problem solving or planning, difficulty completing familiar tasks at home and at work, confusion about places and times, forgetting words, misplacing objects, changes in personality or mood and withdrawal from social activities or work.

Step 2

Buy a [notebook](https://society6.com/notebooks?utm_source=SFGHG&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=2389) and create a daily, detailed record of your loved one's symptoms.

Ready to appoint a power of attorney? Get Started Now

Step 3

Make an appointment for your loved one and yourself with your loved one's general practitioner. Show the physician the symptoms journal that you have been keeping. After the general practitioner does a preliminary examination, get a referral for your loved one to a specialist medical team for a full Alzheimer's disease evaluation.

Step 4

Make sure that the medical team sends a letter clearly stating the Alzheimer's disease diagnosis to your loved one's general practitioner. Get a copy of the medical team's letter from the general practitioner.

Step 5

Contact your city or county bar association for a list of eldercare lawyers.

Step 6

Contact at least four eldercare attorneys by email or phone. Make an appointment with the attorney who seems most compatible with you and your loved one. Fill out the attorney's initial client intake paperwork before the appointment and submit it by email to the lawyer.

Step 7

Bring your loved one, your symptoms notebook, and the Alzheimer's disease diagnosis letter to the appointment with the eldercare attorney. Your attorney may decide that your loved one is not legally competent to sign the power of attorney, meaning that his mental condition has deteriorated to the extent that he cannot understand the power of attorney document. If the lawyer is satisfied that your loved one is legally competent and that the documents that you have brought to the meeting are sufficiently detailed, he will prepare a power of attorney and ask your loved one to sign it in the presence of two witnesses who are not related to you or to each other. Ask the lawyer for the original of the signed power of attorney for yourself. Your loved one and your lawyer should each retain copies of it.

Step 8

Discuss with your attorney other legal alternatives for supervision of your loved one's affairs -- such as a guardianship -- if your loved one is not legally competent to sign a power of attorney.

Step 9

Ask your lawyer if the power of attorney needs to be registered with a local court. Ordinarily, a power of attorney does not have to be registered with a local court, but your lawyer may have to file it with a local court if the power of attorney gives you the right to sell, lease or control your loved one's real estate. The power of attorney may also need to be registered with a court to retain validity in other special circumstances.

Ready to appoint a power of attorney? Get Started Now
What Should You Do When a Divorce Lawyer Does Not Respond?
 

References

Resources

Related articles

How to File a Motion for Child Custody in Illinois

Unfortunately, a final judgment of divorce and custody order does not mean you and your ex-spouse won’t be on separate sides of the courtroom again. If you have children, situations may cause you or your ex-spouse to return to court seeking a change of custody. Since Illinois prefers that children be kept in a stable environment, any chance of success depends on you having a strong case for disturbing that environment.

Can My Wife Get Custody of Our Kids If She Is Bipolar and We Get Divorced?

Bipolar disorder can be managed effectively with ongoing professional treatment. Thus, many women with this condition can parent their children successfully and obtain custody during a divorce. However, mothers with bipolar disorder can experience significant impairments. For example, in the manic phase, a woman with bipolar disorder might act impulsively without thinking through the consequences of her choices. Likewise, a mother experiencing a depressive phase might not be able to hold down a job, prepare meals for her family or care for her children’s basic needs. Any of these effects of bipolar disorder can make it difficult for a woman to obtain custody during a divorce.

How to Contest a Will Due to Alzheimer's

An objection that a decedent was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and was mentally incompetent when she made her will is one of the most difficult contests to win. One issue that arises is that the disease is progressive, so simply proving a diagnosis is not enough. You will have to determine your loved one’s mental capacity at the time she signed and dated the will, and you have to prove that she had no cognitive understanding of what she was doing at that moment in time.

Related articles

Can a Lawyer Lose His License if He Declares Bankruptcy?

Every attorney must hold a professional law license issued by a state as a condition to practicing law in that state. ...

What Are the Steps to Divorce for an Abusive Marriage?

Divorce is a process governed by your state’s laws so the legal steps are the same regardless of why you want to end ...

What Kind of Lawyer Do I Need to Make a Will?

Lawyers supply a variety of legal services that range from defending individuals charged with crimes to providing large ...

Checklist for Getting a Patent

Coming up with a brilliant invention can be exciting. Among the most important steps you'll want to take right away is ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED