In Pennsylvania, an incapacitated elderly person can implement assistance with their financial and medical affairs in two ways. If the person has drafted and executed a durable power of attorney, then the appointed agent under the power of attorney may step in to manage the financial and medical affairs of the person.
If the incapacitated individual does not have a durable power of attorney, then family members, or even government agencies, may petition the county court to be appointed guardian of the incapacitated person. The court guardianship may include the power to direct medical and person care, or the power to handle financial affairs, or both.
Pennsylvania’s increasing elderly population prompted the Court to form a task force with recommendations to further protect senior citizens and their health interests and property interests. Traditionally, there is little court oversight or regulation of the agent under the power of attorney or the guardian appointed by the court.
As you might expect, some guardians and agents have created disastrous results; these announced changes by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court are an attempt to address some of these concerns.
If you have questions about powers of attorney, guardianship, incapacity, nursing home care, medical assistance or Medicaid, it is crucial that you talk with an experienced elder law and estate planning attorney. At Amori & Associates, LLC, attorney Scott M. Amori would be happy to discuss your situation. Please contact Amori & Associates at (570) 421-1406 for a no obligation consultation.