Contact us whenever you need it!

+1 855 997 0206

Contact hours: Mon-Fri 8am - 10pm ET

If a person gets into an accident that renders them mentally incapacitated, there must be trusted individuals who can make sound decisions for them moving forward.

When children become mentally incapacitated, most have parents to make decisions for them. If an older adult becomes mentally impaired due to age or illness and their spouse is deceased, family members may have disputes about who will make the decisions if they don't get along.

This is where an emergency power of attorney becomes incredibly important.

First, what is a power of attorney? It is a legal authorization giving an individual the “power” to act on behalf of another person. There are several types of powers of attorney:

Read on as we discuss all the details you need to know.

What Is an Emergency Power of Attorney?

It is a legal document authorizing an individual to make financial, medical, and other crucial decisions on behalf of someone who has been mentally incapacitated.

Two parties are named in the document: the principal and the agent. The principal is the person granting the emergency power of attorney, while the agent is the authorized person to make the decisions moving forward.

This type of POA is sometimes called a springing power of attorney. This is because the document only “springs” into effect when the principal has become mentally incapacitated.

Similarly, the document is called an emergency power of attorney because it is triggered by an emergency or accident that renders the principal unable to make sound decisions.

To prepare for such circumstances, it is in the best interest of older adults to sign an emergency power of attorney while they are still healthy. It is a form of protection for their finances, properties, and health.

Having an emergency POA will also prevent arguments among family members when important decisions must be made. While input from kin are welcome, ultimately, it will be the person with the power of attorney who will make the final, most crucial decisions.

What Are Emergency Powers and When Are They Needed?

Emergency powers refer to crucial decisions the agent has to make. For older adults, they can designate an agent to make medical decisions on their behalf.

The principal must be mentally fit to create or initiate an emergency power of attorney. The vested authority in the emergency POA will take effect when the principal becomes mentally incapacitated due to the following:

  • Disability
  • Illness
  • Injury

At this moment, a doctor is required to certify that the principal is no longer able to make sound decisions.

A power of attorney for an incapacitated person can also be used by military personnel. While most have their own families to make critical decisions if they become mentally incapacitated while on active duty, they can also designate a specific person as an agent who will make medical and financial decisions for them.

How To Get an Emergency Power of Attorney

You can consult a lawyer to help you with your emergency power of attorney. Another way to do it is to write what you need and get the document checked by a lawyer once you’ve outlined your wishes.

Here are the steps to do so:

1. Know your state’s laws and procedures

Every state has different guidelines on emergency powers of attorney, so it’s essential to learn the ones that apply to you.

There are also different POA formats for each state. You must follow these specific guidelines.

2. Put all conditions in writing

While some states accept oral POAs, written documents will prevent confusion and potential arguments when the emergency POA is activated. It is always safer to have everything in writing.

3. Identify the parties and specify responsibilities

Identify yourself as the principal and name your agent in the document. Enumerate the powers you wish to grant to your agent if you become mentally incapacitated.

Include as much detail and as many contingencies as possible. Avoid general or sweeping statements. Clarity is crucial in an important document that will dictate your future well-being.

4. Get the POA notarized

Some states require POAs to be notarized, but it’s better to get this done anyway to cover all your bases and prove the document is valid. Make sure you research which states require notarization and which do not.

How to File for Emergency Power of Attorney

Once again, the key is to check your state’s guidelines. Does your state require you to file the POA with a court or government office? Do you and your agent need to sign the POA before witnesses?

Meet with your agent so you can both sign the document. Give the agent a copy of the POA and store your copy in a safe place.

Useful Complementary Documents

When the time comes for the agent to exercise their power, they must bring a copy of the POA whenever they have to make critical decisions.

Unfortunately, an emergency POA can be precarious because the state of incapacity may be questioned. To prevent disputes, the principal may also sign other legal documents to complement the provisions of the emergency POA. Here are some of them:

Living Will: This is a document in which the principal can specify the medical treatments or procedures they consent to. This is not a substitute for an emergency POA but should supplement it. Your chosen agent will help make sure your living will is followed.

Advance Directive: This is a document that outlines your preferred medical treatment plan. Again, your chosen agent will ensure the plan outlined in this document is followed.

Who Should Become Your Agent?

Your chosen agent for your emergency POA must be someone you trust to follow all of your wishes. They must have a thorough understanding of your specific desires in the event of your incapacitation, such as specific treatments, hospitalization, resuscitation, and other medical decisions that may come up in the future.

Emergency Power of Attorney Provides Convenience for All

It’s best to prepare for any situation, especially for older adults with chronic conditions. Unexpected events may disrupt daily life, but an emergency power of attorney can bring security to the situation. This critical document assigns a trusted party to act on behalf of the mentally capacitated individual, which is better than going to court for emergency guardianship.

Get a Power of Attorney

Helpful Resources:
Power of Attorney | American Bar Association
Misconceptions About Power of AttorneY | A Place for Mom
POA for Military Member | USAA

If a person gets into an accident that renders them mentally incapacitated, there must be trusted individuals who can make sound decisions for them moving forward.

When children become mentally incapacitated, most have parents to make decisions for them. If an older adult becomes mentally impaired due to age or illness and their spouse is deceased, family members may have disputes about who will make the decisions if they don't get along.

This is where an emergency power of attorney becomes incredibly important.

First, what is a power of attorney? It is a legal authorization giving an individual the “power” to act on behalf of another person. There are several types of powers of attorney:

Read on as we discuss all the details you need to know.

What Is an Emergency Power of Attorney?

It is a legal document authorizing an individual to make financial, medical, and other crucial decisions on behalf of someone who has been mentally incapacitated.

Two parties are named in the document: the principal and the agent. The principal is the person granting the emergency power of attorney, while the agent is the authorized person to make the decisions moving forward.

This type of POA is sometimes called a springing power of attorney. This is because the document only “springs” into effect when the principal has become mentally incapacitated.

Similarly, the document is called an emergency power of attorney because it is triggered by an emergency or accident that renders the principal unable to make sound decisions.

To prepare for such circumstances, it is in the best interest of older adults to sign an emergency power of attorney while they are still healthy. It is a form of protection for their finances, properties, and health.

Having an emergency POA will also prevent arguments among family members when important decisions must be made. While input from kin are welcome, ultimately, it will be the person with the power of attorney who will make the final, most crucial decisions.

What Are Emergency Powers and When Are They Needed?

Emergency powers refer to crucial decisions the agent has to make. For older adults, they can designate an agent to make medical decisions on their behalf.

The principal must be mentally fit to create or initiate an emergency power of attorney. The vested authority in the emergency POA will take effect when the principal becomes mentally incapacitated due to the following:

  • Disability
  • Illness
  • Injury

At this moment, a doctor is required to certify that the principal is no longer able to make sound decisions.

A power of attorney for an incapacitated person can also be used by military personnel. While most have their own families to make critical decisions if they become mentally incapacitated while on active duty, they can also designate a specific person as an agent who will make medical and financial decisions for them.

How To Get an Emergency Power of Attorney

You can consult a lawyer to help you with your emergency power of attorney. Another way to do it is to write what you need and get the document checked by a lawyer once you’ve outlined your wishes.

Here are the steps to do so:

1. Know your state’s laws and procedures

Every state has different guidelines on emergency powers of attorney, so it’s essential to learn the ones that apply to you.

There are also different POA formats for each state. You must follow these specific guidelines.

2. Put all conditions in writing

While some states accept oral POAs, written documents will prevent confusion and potential arguments when the emergency POA is activated. It is always safer to have everything in writing.

3. Identify the parties and specify responsibilities

Identify yourself as the principal and name your agent in the document. Enumerate the powers you wish to grant to your agent if you become mentally incapacitated.

Include as much detail and as many contingencies as possible. Avoid general or sweeping statements. Clarity is crucial in an important document that will dictate your future well-being.

4. Get the POA notarized

Some states require POAs to be notarized, but it’s better to get this done anyway to cover all your bases and prove the document is valid. Make sure you research which states require notarization and which do not.

How to File for Emergency Power of Attorney

Once again, the key is to check your state’s guidelines. Does your state require you to file the POA with a court or government office? Do you and your agent need to sign the POA before witnesses?

Meet with your agent so you can both sign the document. Give the agent a copy of the POA and store your copy in a safe place.

Useful Complementary Documents

When the time comes for the agent to exercise their power, they must bring a copy of the POA whenever they have to make critical decisions.

Unfortunately, an emergency POA can be precarious because the state of incapacity may be questioned. To prevent disputes, the principal may also sign other legal documents to complement the provisions of the emergency POA. Here are some of them:

Living Will: This is a document in which the principal can specify the medical treatments or procedures they consent to. This is not a substitute for an emergency POA but should supplement it. Your chosen agent will help make sure your living will is followed.

Advance Directive: This is a document that outlines your preferred medical treatment plan. Again, your chosen agent will ensure the plan outlined in this document is followed.

Who Should Become Your Agent?

Your chosen agent for your emergency POA must be someone you trust to follow all of your wishes. They must have a thorough understanding of your specific desires in the event of your incapacitation, such as specific treatments, hospitalization, resuscitation, and other medical decisions that may come up in the future.

Emergency Power of Attorney Provides Convenience for All

It’s best to prepare for any situation, especially for older adults with chronic conditions. Unexpected events may disrupt daily life, but an emergency power of attorney can bring security to the situation. This critical document assigns a trusted party to act on behalf of the mentally capacitated individual, which is better than going to court for emergency guardianship.

Get a Power of Attorney

Helpful Resources:
Power of Attorney | American Bar Association
Misconceptions About Power of AttorneY | A Place for Mom
POA for Military Member | USAA