Beyond the Power of Attorney

How to Help Your Parents When They Don’t Have, or Won’t Use, a POA

Mom passed away, leaving Dad behind. They long ago executed powers of attorney giving their only child the authority to act as their agent. Unfortunately, Dad, who is quite elderly, is showing signs of dementia. He isn’t able to manage his finances or his healthcare, but he thinks he can and won’t let son act under the POA Dad previously executed. What can son do to help his father?


Mom and Dad had powers of attorney for each other. After Mom died, Dad isn’t capable of managing his affairs and is no longer able to execute a new power of attorney naming daughter. What can she do?


In each of the above instances, it is time to consult with an attorney about whether a guardianship is the right course of action.  Being named a guardian requires a court order because it takes away a person’s autonomy and gives decision-making authority for that person’s finances and personal care to someone else. 

There are a number of specific steps that need to be taken to file the appropriate petition and documents with the court.   Here at Herr, Potts and Potts, our attorneys are experienced in the guardianship process and can assist you in working toward the best possible outcome for your family during this difficult and emotional time. Our elder law attorneys can guide you through the paperwork and hearing process in Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County and the surrounding areas so that your elderly parent’s needs are met when he or she can no longer make decisions for his/her well-being. 

Call Herr, Potts and Potts at (610)254-0114 to speak to an elder law attorney for more information about Power of Attorney vs. Guardianship, and to learn how to obtain guardianship in Pennsylvania.