My father has dementia and I'm wondering, when is the best time to discuss enforcement of power of attorney?

1 answer | Last updated: Nov 24, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My father has dementia due to alcohol. He is beginning to show signs now. When is the best time to discuss enforcement of power of attorney?


Expert Answers

As soon as possible. You say "enforcement" of power of attorney. I take it that you already have a power of attorney, naming you as your father's agent (also called his "attorney-in-fact").

Actually, you want to have two powers of attorney, one for finances, and one for health care. And each one should be what's called a "durable" power to attorney, meaning it remains in force even if your father is or becomes incapacitated. (A Medical Durable Power of Attorney can go by a variety of names, depending upon the state your father resides in. It can be called an "Advance Health Care Directive," or "Designation of Health Care Surrogate," or "Patient Advocate Designation" or some similar name.)