Many Georgians are adult children of aging parents. It is natural for a son or daughter to want to help mom and/or dad set up a long-term care plan. Estate planning often addresses long-term care issues and can include a financial power of attorney.

An aging parent who is showing signs of mental decline may reach a point where he or she is unable to act independently regarding medical or financial decisions. This is why a financial power of attorney is such a valuable estate planning tool. While a parent is still of sound mind, he or she can designate a son or daughter, or other trusted individual, to make decisions or transactions in the principal’s name if a time comes when the principal becomes incapacitated.

The person designated as a financial power of attorney must be at least 18 years old. Once a POA is effective, the person with financial decision-making authority can act for the principal, but must do so in the best interests of the principal. If the person granting the power dies, the POA automatically expires.

A power of attorney can be durable or nondurable. The latter is typically something used when a person is being designated to act in a particular circumstance, whereas a durable POA extends to any and all financial decisions or transactions. A Georgia long-term care planning attorney can answer questions regarding powers of attorney, trusts or other estate planning issues and can provide ongoing support to draft and supervise the execution such documents or to help resolve a legal obstacle should one arise.