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Can we delegate responsibility to someone not listed as POA?

My husband & I are listed as POA's for his 100 year old mother. She has Alzheimer's & live in a 24/7 assisted living facility here in Arizona. We would like to take a vacation but are concerned that while we are gone something might happen & she might need hospitalization. This has happened a couple of times when she has tried to walk unassisted. We are wondering if we can delegate the health care POA to our adult daughter who lives near the assisted living facility in case a need for authorization or whatever might come up in our absence. My husband did research & found that Arizona does have a law on the books that states that a person can be temporarily delegated to take on responsibilities of the POA, but apparently there are no court records showing that the law has been tested in court. My husband is preparing a written statement that would include the delegation to our daughter, with both of us & her signing & dating it. Do you think this would be acceptable? Does it need to be notarized or signed by a witness? Do you have any suggestions?
Status: Open    Aug 22, 2016 - 07:10 AM

Elder Law

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Aug 24, 2016 - 08:12 AM

Power of attorney laws vary from state to state, so you should consult with an attorney in the state in which your husband's mother lives. From the question it is unclear whether you are dealing with a general durable (financial) power of attorney, a healthcare power of attorney, or both. The ability to delegate the power granted in the power of attorney may or may not exist under the terms of the document and state law. There may be the ability to appoint a successor upon resignation from the power of attorney, but that may be too drastic a step. I understand that this question appears to be simple on its face, but a local attorney should be consulted (even if just briefly) to ensure that the handoff of responsibility under the Power of Attorney is done appropriately and in a form that a third party will recognize. Finally, delegating power under a power of attorney generally does not releive the delegating agent from responsibility for supervising the delegated agent's actions so any such delegation should be done with extreme caution.
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By jsmarks on Aug 24, 2016 - 03:00 PM | Like (0)  |  Report

I'm sorry I was not more clear on the type of delegation we are concerned about. This would be only for delegating a Durable Health Care Power of Attorney to our daughter with regard to my husband's mother during the time we would be out of state, should a health emergency arise. The Arizona case law we thought we could use is State of Arizona Delegation of Authority (A.R.S. 14-5104), & the statement we plan to use would include that our daughter would be delegated the release authority to information governed by HIPAA of 1996, 42, USC 1320d, 45 CR 160-164. I agree that third party recognition is a concern, but this delegation would only be used in a health emergency situation that might arise while we were out of town. Do you have further thoughts on this?

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