84 year old friend needs a power of attorney

Q: 84-year old friend was harmed by fall and needs 24-7 caregivers. She has long term insurance policy. She needs a power of attorney for healthcare and finances. For me to fill out an insurance policy claim form on her behalf, she must give me power of attorney for health care and for finances. Her competence is questionable.

A: She needs to be competent to execute a Power of Attorney. The standard for a Principal’s competency required for a POA is higher than the competency level needed for a will. You need to confirm whether she is competent. You can do this by asking her doctor, if he will tell you, or take her to a lawyer who can assess her competency. My advice is to have her hire the lawyer and have him or her represent your friend, and not you.

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