Many readers here in California may be fans of recording artist Amy Grant. Of course, like any famous singer, Grant carries on much of her life outside of the public eye. In a recent article, the singer opened up about her parents' life as they reached old age and its effect on her. Within the story is a fantastic representation of how proper estate planning -- including power of attorney -- can help families come together despite what can be a challenging end.
Much of the story surrounds the challenges her parents faced later in life. Her mother developed a form of dementia called Lewy Body, while her father succumbed to a more severe form that has left him unable to clearly communicate or identify common items. Despite advance planning by her parents, after some time it became clear to the singer and her siblings that it was time to obtain power of attorney so that they could ensure their parents received proper care.
As Grant's story helps illustrate, a properly executed durable power of attorney will allow a designated representative to make legal and financial decisions for a person who is unable to make those decisions by him or herself. The power can be clearly outlined so the scope of decision making is limited to the areas in which the executor feels comfortable, and it can be drafted so that it is effective only for particular purposes or short time frames.
Grant recalls the time when she and her sisters requested her father to sign over the power, and he considered whether it was appropriate. The decision to place such power can be a difficult one, but with careful consideration and the appointment of an appropriate person, the document can have great effect.
It is clear that having control over her father's welfare provided great solace and ensured appropriate care for her aging dad. With the help of an experienced attorney, residents of California may also benefit in same the way.
Source: Huffington Post, "Amy Grant's Story of Her Parents' Dementia And The Last Lesson They Taught Her," Amy Grant, Jan. 24, 2013