According to the Department of Public Health and Human Services, there is a lot of confusion surrounding Powers of Attorney and Guardianship. As a result, DPHHS Legal Services Developers Program Director Katy Lovell says Montana’s seniors are being exploited.

“A lot of times seniors are not going to a job every day,” Lovell said. “They don’t necessarily have close family members that still live with them or live nearby. Their friends circle may be shrinking or they may not be as active in community activities. There are less people to realize when something bad is happening. They tend to be part of a nicer generation. They are less likely to hang up on telemarketers or shut the door in someone’s face that comes to the door to sell things.”

Lovell says it is extremely important to choose someone as your POA that you really trust.

“Choose someone that you would trust with your wallet, keys, social security number or any type of that information because they have a lot of access and control over your finances,” Lovell said. “It is also important to note that a Powers of Attorney is a limited device. It does not give someone the ability to use your resources for their benefit or to steal from you.”

To help address these and others related issues, the DPHHS is hosting a two-day legal document clinic April 25-26 in Hamilton. The Kelly Moorse Memorial Legal Document Clinics are a series of clinics repeated through the year. During the clinics, staff and volunteers not only educate seniors, but also financial, healthcare, and law enforcement professionals on what POA do and do not allow.

2019 Legal Document Clinic schedule:
 
  • April 25-26, Hamilton
  • May 15-16, Glasgow
  • June 12-13, Hardin
  • July 17-18, Wilsall
  • August 21-22, Libby
  • October 22-23, Billings

For more information on the clinics and other services for seniors, you can click here.