When your elderly parent starts declining in health or mental state, it’s a good idea to set up a Power of Attorney (POA) so you can make decisions and deal with his or her affairs and money plus health decisions that he is no longer able to make anymore.
Get it done while she is still thinking straight as it is more difficult to go through the courts to declare you as one. Make sure you approach your elderly parent as a concerned adult child and are only concerned with his or her welfare – it will make things easier for everyone later. There are really good attorneys to help you set up a POA - though not every attorney works with all types of cases.
Once you have a POA, get set up on her accounts at the bank, at investment firms, and any other places you know of. Find out how to log in or be added to credit cards, mortgages, and loans, added to safe deposit boxes, stocks, etc. Make sure to explain you will not run any of it unless asked to or until he is unable to. You might offer to peak in on accounts to make sure no scams are taking any money out. Just make sure to leave their money alone unless asked to do something. You need to keep trust of the elderly parent.
There are different types of POAs – ask the attorney which is the best one for what the needs are or may be. Figure out if the POA continues after death – it may expire at death and the will kicks in. You might want a Guardianship as well, to make other types of decisions when the time comes.
Right now, we are seeing our dad declining in mental and physical health, but we did get co-POA with me and my sister. We are talking often and figuring out when it is time to make any decisions for him. Right now, we are just offering him our support in watching out for him but might need more daily care set up as he declines further.