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19th May


Are You Even Authorized to Help Your Parents?

As your parents get older, the process of change from the normal independent lifestyle they lead, while living in their own home, will go through several phases and ultimately end up in an assisted care facility of some type. Hawaii senior assisted living facilities offer high quality of life and allow seniors to remain as independent as possible, for as long as possible.


Sooner or Later the Time Will Come


However, at some point your loved ones will need someone who can actively manage their affairs with complete authority to make decisions about finances, health, family issues and ultimately their estate. This is always a very difficult and sensitive topic to approach for families.


If you try to address the issue too early, you run the risk of offending someone and appearing cold. If you approach the issue too late, it can be difficult to get the necessary cooperation from your loved ones due to health problems and diminished mental capabilities.


However, the earlier you can manage to discuss the issue and implement a solution for all the various scenarios that may become a reality at some point, the easier things will be. Each state has its own laws and processes that are specific to that particular state. However, there are a few things common among all the states when it comes to having the legal authority to act on your parent’s behalf.


Verbal Authority Is Not Enough


First, a verbal “OK’ from one or both of your parents is not enough to give you legal authority to handle their affairs. There are very specific documents called, Powers of Attorney, which specifically name the individual authorized to act on their behalf. Additionally, there are different types of Powers of Attorney that allow you to make decisions in given areas, such as medical only, financial only or both.


There are also documents such as a Will or Trust, which allow an individual or couple to design specific provisions for different circumstances. They can name who can make decisions if they become disabled, how assets should be divided upon their death and a number of other decisions can be predetermined. This not only makes things much easier as the situation progresses through the natural stages of growing older and more dependent, it also allows their wishes to be carried out and respected.


Trying to help loved ones through the transition from independent living to Hawaii senior assisted living and beyond, can be challenging without any extra issues. Having the right paperwork, authority and offering older loved ones the chance to have their wishes respected will certainly make things a little easier on many levels. While these items typically do require an attorney to arrange, the process and documentation are standard and should not be an expensive exercise.

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