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Roger, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 31788
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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Ave an elderly relative who is unable to handle her own finances

Customer Question

Ave an elderly relative who is unable to handle her own finances and may be in the early stages of dementia; should one of us have Power of Attorney for handling her affairs?
What is the procedure, is an attorney necessary for drawing the papers? What are the pros and cons of doing this, i.e. is the person who has Power of Attorney responsible for their financial obligations if this senior has little income?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Roger replied 2 years ago.
Hi - my name is ***** ***** I'm a litigation attorney. Thanks for your question. I'll be glad to assist.
Yes, it would be a very good idea to have your relative execute a power of attorney to give someone the ability to handle her affairs - - financial and otherwise. If you wait until your relative cannot sign a POA (the person must be of sound mind to sign), you would have to file a lawsuit and get a court-ordered guardianship/conservatorship to handle her affairs (which is much more expensive).
You can get a general durable POA from a local lawyer or online for a few hundred dollars....if you wait and have to file for a guardianship/conservatorship, you're looking at thousands.
Also, you are not individually responsible for her debts if you take over as POA. You would only be responsible to act on her behalf......but that's it. You're not exposing yourself to liability just because you're POA.