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When To Get a Power of Attorney for a Parent

The question often arises as to when to get a power of attorney for an older parent. There is no one simple answer to this question but there are certain factors to be taken into consideration when making this decision.

The Durable Power of Attorney is a powerful document that grants the agent the power to handle various enumerated powers listed in the POA. It can be as limiting or as far-reaching as the principal (one bestowing the power) wants it to be. One of the more attractive features of the Durable POA is that as opposed to is “Springing” counterpart, the POA doesn’t take effect upon the incapacity of the agent. Rather, it takes effect immediately. This aspect can be very beneficial for a situation with elderly parents because the agent may utilize it on behalf of the principal when dealing with banks, insurance companies, Social Security, just to name a few. 

This is why it is very important that the principal confers the power upon an agent they trust implicitly. The Durable POA by itself is less effective if it does not contain the Statutory Gifts Rider addendum. The SGR can be an important a useful estate planning tool as the SGR confers various powers dealing with gifting, changing beneficiaries, creation of trusts, Medicaid planning, and other tools that can help in the event of the incapacity of the principal.

If you need an experienced Long Island estate attorney, please contact us at the Law Offices of Michael W. Alpert at (516) 280-7288 or e-mail: