Just as the title suggests, immediate Powers of Attorney take effect immediately. This is quite different from springing Powers of Attorney, which don’t take effect until the determination of incapacitation. While it’s evident that a person with Alzheimer’s should have some Power of Attorney in place, the question becomes which type of Power of Attorney is the better option?
For someone with Alzheimer’s, a springing Power of Attorney may be an inviting choice as they or their family members don’t want to take financial control until it is absolutely necessary. However, Alzheimer’s usually brings on a gradual deterioration, making that moment difficult to judge, and this well-meaning decision may prove to not be in the best interest of anyone.
On the other hand, an immediate Power of Attorney, while effective immediately, doesn’t mean the person with Alzheimer’s has to lose total financial control immediately. They can still be a part of financial decisions, gradually turning it over to a trusted family member until they no longer can take care of these matters themselves.
In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Southern Illinois Elder Law attorney, discusses another topic covered in The Alzheimer’s Guide: Practical Advice for Families, Caregivers and Professionals and explains the difference between an immediate and a springing Power of Attorney and offers which is the better option for someone with Alzheimer’s.
Immediate vs. Springing Powers of Attorney: Which is better for someone with Alzheimer’s?
Hi, I’m Wes Coulson and this is your Elder Law Minute. This is another in our series of videos that relate to things that we cover in our Alzheimer’s Guide.
Today I want to talk about Powers of Attorney and specifically the choice between whether they should be effective immediately or should be something called springing, which means they don’t take effect until the determination of your incapacity. I’m a big fan of immediate Powers of Attorney and let me tell you why.
The problem I have with springing Powers of Attorney is that they sort of assume that somebody is going to be fine and able to manage their financial affairs all along until one day then suddenly they’re not and they need someone to take over. That’s not what I see in real life. What I see is a gradual deterioration in the ability to handle your financial affairs and what you can to with an immediate Power of Attorney is to do something that goes along with that gradual process. Start out with the bills of sitting down together with Mom to go through them and having her have input, and then move more toward gathering the bills up for Mom’s signature, and then finally, as the disease progresses, just taking care of things using that Power of Attorney without Mom being involved.
So, that’s why I favor effective immediately Powers of Attorney. Thanks.
For more information on Alzheimer’s Guide Topics, visit these articles
- Can Someone Diagnosed With Alzheimer’s Still Execute Legal Documents?
- Essential Legal Document’s Anyone With Alzheimer’s Needs to Have in Place
- Alzheimer’s and the Powers of Attorney for Property: Why the document’s specific language matters so much
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