In most states, getting a general durable power of attorney is fairly easy.
Some legislatures have included form documents in the statute books that are templates for powers of attorneys. Online services are more than willing to offer cheap form documents that can also be filled out to create general durable powers of attorney.
The ease with which these documents can be obtained masks an issue with them, as MD Magazine discusses in “Five Questions to Ask About Your Financial POA.”
The problem is that form documents contain boilerplate language that might not work for everyone’s unique situation. If you take care of an elderly parent, you will want to make sure that the general durable power of attorney authorizes the agent (you) to continue paying for ongoing care and to make investment decisions.
These problems can be overcome by hiring an estate planning attorney to craft your general durable power of attorney.
The attorney can assist your elderly parent to create a document that does what he or she needs done and that is not just boilerplate language.
Reference: MD Magazine (Dec. 27, 2017) “Five Questions to Ask About Your Financial POA.”