It can be hard to watch the people whom we love grow older, especially when aging leads to health troubles and issues like dementia. Seeing a parent or other loved one's physical and mental capacity diminish can be difficult emotionally, but emotions should not get in the way of trying to protect the best interests of a parent's estate -- their hard work.
As people age, many become unable to make the best financial, business, and estate planning decisions. In order to protect the very things that a person might have worked his or her whole life for, it's important for a family to consider designating a financial power of attorney over someone's estate.
Taking a proactive approach in this legal matter is wise, though the subject should be brought up with an aging or ailing party in a sensitive, compassionate matter. Discussing the importance of assigning a power of attorney early most likely means the person will choose an appropriate POA while in a healthy state. Also, if a POA isn't designated and the person becomes incapacitated, then interested parties would likely wind up in court to determine how to handle an estate. This can be a stressful and time consuming process during a time when emotions are already running high.
A person's estate, their property, assets and business matters are not just material things. They are likely where someone's passion, sweat, time, worry and hopes went into. Those things can make up a chunk of someone's legacy. Designating a power of attorney who understands that and who understands the person's desires regarding his or her estate is an invaluable way to respect a loved one's life and legacy.