It's hard to watch our parents grow older. Perhaps your mother and father are in their 80s, for example, and they're not able to do all the things they used to enjoy. Playing tennis on the weekends with dad doesn't happen anymore, and mom comes to spend an afternoon with her grandchildren she isn't able to stay as long.
We all get older and, when this happens, we often have to depend more on others for support. If you're seeing your parents getting older, it may be time to have a conversation with them about estate planning and whether they have everything in order so you can be of the most assistance to them when they require it. One thing that's particularly important is having them create a healthcare power of attorney.
What's a health care power of attorney?
When your mom and dad draft a health care power of attorney, they're designating someone who can make decisions on their behalf in the case of an emergency. The document goes into effect in the event of incapacitation.
Let's say your father is too ill to make decisions for himself. Your mother had been taking care of him, but suddenly your mother gets sick as well. In this case, the health care power of attorney would allow you to step in, consult with their physicians and take over the decision-making with regard to their health care choices.
Here are some of the rights bestowed upon the designated attorney-in-fact listed on a healthcare power of attorney:
-- The power to deny or give consent regarding medical treatments as long as they don't conflict with a living will.
-- The power to choose the medical facility that offers treatment.
-- The power to decide on the medical personnel and doctors that will offer treatment.
-- The power to choose how memorial and funeral services will be administered.
-- The ability to have visitation rights while the person is at the medical facility.
-- Special access to the person's medical records.
Ask your parents to draft a healthcare power of attorney
You and your family should draft a health care power of attorney and complete other estate planning tasks sooner rather than later. Once an incapacitating medical event happens, it's already too late for your loved one to complete such a document, and you'll need to go through the court to get the powers you require to ensure your mother or father is well-taken care of. With the help of a Georgia estate planning lawyer, you can draft a health care power of attorney quickly and cost-effectively.