Whether young or old, planning for the future or an untimely death is an important matter. Although it is often something one does not like to think about, it is something that should not be put off. Drafting documents for an estate plan can take place at any age or any point in a person's life.
Residents in California may have seen an article about the importance of settling matters related to elder care as early and as thoroughly as possible. People in California who have aging relatives and loved ones should make sure they are well prepared for that person's transition into a nursing home as well as their eventual demise. It's not morbid to plan for the inevitable, it's the smart thing to do and may help avoid a lot of unnecessary headaches and heartaches down the road.
One major issue is sending a loved one to a managed care facility or nursing home. As people age, their ability to take care of themselves diminishes to some degree, and at a certain point, having that person in a place where they can receive constant care and monitoring may be for the best. Preparing power of attorney, or POA, documents prior to a person's admittance into such a facility is extremely important.
A power of attorney can be granted to a person for a number of reasons, including health care and legal decisions. A power of attorney can be made durable, permanent or it can be made incumbent upon a person becoming incapacitated or mentally incapable. A power of attorney can be limited to specific purposes, such as medical directives.
When a loved one is preparing to enter a facility for treatment, having these POA documents in order will make the experience much easier. It can provide doctors and administrators concrete proof of the representative's status as a caretaker or spokesperson for their loved one. But if a person waits until a tragic life event to start thinking about these issues, it may already be too late.
Whether a person is seeking to draft a document or modify one, an experienced estates and trusts attorney can explain how a power of attorney can protect the grantor and the representative in a wide variety of legal and medical scenarios. Furthermore, they can make the drafter and their loved ones more knowledgeable about this instrument and provide them with information about other future planning tools that might be necessary.
Source: Hernando Today "Having your power of attorney papers on hand," Gary LeBlanc, Aug. 18, 2013