Health Care Power of Attorney

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Health Care Power of Attorney

My client has severe dementia and is unable to respond in any way. My company provides Medicaid Personal Care Service to this client. Her son signs all her papers and takes good care of her. All of a sudden the Medicaid Nurse is demanding Health Care Power of attorney. I downloaded a blank form but as she cannot sign, how do we proceed? The family cannot afford an attorney and live out in the country with no car.

Asked on March 14, 2019 under Estate Planning, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can't get a healthcare power of attorney from someone who is mentally incompetent (severe dementia) and is unable to respond: only mentally competent, responsive people can issue powers of attorney, including health care powers of attorney.
Her family will have to petition the court to appoint one of them (e.g. the son) as her legal guardian or conservator (either term may be used): that is the only way to get the legal authority they need. 
Your client may wish to contact NC Adult Protective Services: they may be able to provide help or at least guidance in applying for guardianship: https://www.ncdhhs.gov/assistance/adult-services/adult-protective-services


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