How to Get Power of Attorney Over a Parent

By David Carnes

A power of attorney is used to empower someone, known as the attorney-in-fact or agent, to make medical decisions, perform legal acts or engage in financial transactions on behalf of another, known as the principal. Since the principal cannot authorize power of attorney if he is "incompetent" -- unconscious, mentally incompetent or unable to communicate -- it is best to obtain power of attorney over an aging parent while he is still healthy. Your parent may revoke power of attorney at any time, as long as he is competent.

Step 1

Sit down with your parent to discuss which powers your parent wishes to grant you.

Step 2

Entitle the document granting power of attorney "Power of Attorney" to head off possible legal disputes over its purpose.

Ready to appoint a power of attorney? Get Started Now

Step 3

Insert any statutory wording required by state law. Pennsylvania, for example, requires the inclusion of the exact wording of the relevant portion of its power of attorney statute if certain types of powers are granted.

Step 4

Identify your parent by his full legal name; state that he is the principal who is granting the powers. State that the principal is appointing you as his agent or attorney-in-fact -- these two terms are interchangeable. Your parent may appoint more than one agent if he so desires, but an agent must be at least 18 years old and mentally competent.

Step 5

State whether or not the power of attorney is "durable." A durable power of attorney remains in effect while the principal is incompetent. If you skip this step, state law will apply a presumption as to its durability. Different states apply different presumptions -- some states will assume that it is durable, while some states will assume that it is not.

Step 6

List the powers that your parent is granting you. Be specific enough to avoid ambiguity, but state the powers broadly enough to accomplish their intended purpose. For example, a power of attorney might authorize you to "select among available medical treatments or refuse treatment altogether."

Step 7

Draft wording that clarifies when your authority begins and ends. You may include specific dates or specific events. The authority of an agent under a "springing" power of attorney begins only when the principal becomes incompetent; it usually lapses whenever the principal regains competence.

Step 8

Sign and date the power of attorney along with the principal and any co-agents. Some states require signatures to be attested by a notary public, while others require the presence of witnesses who must also sign the document. All signing parties should sign in the presence of the others.

Ready to appoint a power of attorney? Get Started Now
How to Draw Up Power of Attorney Papers


Related articles

How to Get a Power of Attorney for a Sick Parent

Getting a power of attorney for your sick parent allows you to perform some actions for her, making life easier for her while she's ill. The power of attorney will let you, the agent, act in your parent's place. You can act on her behalf in all matters she gives you authority for, including doing her banking and signing financial papers, as long as state laws allow an agent to do so. You get power of attorney for your parent by preparing and having her sign a power of attorney document, but she must be mentally competent and able to make her own decisions.

The Power of Attorney for Parental Rights

Parents must often balance their work life and other responsibilities with the needs of their children. If a situation arises that makes a parent temporarily unavailable for child care duties, the parent may have the option of signing a power-of-attorney document that names a person to make decisions about the child in the parent’s absence. Whether this option exists depends on the laws of the state where the parent resides, but the parent should consult with an attorney before finalizing any arrangements to ensure that all of the state’s legal requirements are satisfied.

Father's Child Custody Rights When the Child's Mother Is Mentally Ill

Mental illness can affect not only a person's life, but those around them as well. For that reason, courts take mental disorders seriously in deciding child custody matters. However, state law also recognizes the importance of having both parents involved in a child's life, as well as a parent's right to raise a child without the government interfering. Understanding how a mother's mental illness can factor into a custody determination will help you properly exercise you rights as a father.

Power of Attorney

Related articles

Can a Sibling With Power of Attorney Prevent Other Siblings From Seeing a Parent?

A power of attorney is a legal document that authorizes an individual or a business to perform specific tasks on behalf ...

How to Become the Power of Attorney for a Disabled Elderly Parent

Only two persons or entities can grant you the right to act on your disabled parent’s behalf: your parent or the court. ...

How to Grant a Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document in which a person, known as the principal, authorizes legal authority to ...

How to Obtain Power of Attorney in Indiana

A power of attorney is a powerful legal device that allows a person, known as the principal, to delegate the power to ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED