How to Get a Power of Attorney for a Sick Parent

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Getting a power of attorney for your sick parent allows you to perform some actions for her, making life easier for her while she's ill. The power of attorney will let you, the agent, act in your parent's place. You can act on her behalf in all matters she gives you authority for, including doing her banking and signing financial papers, as long as state laws allow an agent to do so. You get power of attorney for your parent by preparing and having her sign a power of attorney document, but she must be mentally competent and able to make her own decisions.

Check the power-of-attorney laws in your parent's state of residence. Write down the requirements for a power of attorney, such as the number of witnesses needed, if any.

Read More: The Power of Attorney for Parental Rights

Ask your parent if the power of attorney should be durable or nondurable. Both types are usually prepared the same, but you'll need the form for the type your parent chooses. A durable power of attorney continues to be effective if your parent becomes incapacitated or incompetent, but nondurable powers end in both those cases.

Get a durable or nondurable power-of-attorney form for use in your parent's state. Visit an office supply store to obtain a blank form.

Take the form to your sick parent. Confirm that she understands what a power of attorney does. Ask her what powers she wants to grant. Write down or mark those powers on the form. Follow the form's printed instructions on how to specify powers. Don't have her sign yet.

Write in your parent's name and address on the space labeled "principal." Write in your name and address on the "attorney-in-fact" or "agent" space.

Arrange to meet with a notary public and your parent. If your parent is in a hospital or healthcare facility, ask a staff member if notaries are available; some facilities have visiting or on-staff notaries. Contact your local bank to arrange for notary services if necessary.

Bring the power-of-attorney form and your identification to the meeting with your parent and the notary. Make sure your parent has identification. Ask your parent to sign and date the paper in front of the notary, and do the same yourself. Ask the notary to notarize both signatures.

Copy the power of attorney. Give the original to your parent or store in a safe place.


  • Don't have your parent sign if you're not sure she's competent or understands what a power of attorney means.


  • Your parent's state might allow a power of attorney for healthcare. Check state laws for information about making a power of attorney for medical decisions.

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