Elder law attorneys remain tightly focused on all of the issues that are relevant to our nation’s senior citizens. Because of this expertise they have a thorough understanding of the challenges that you may face when you begin to reach an advanced age. Most laypeople have no reason to probe into these matters; your twilight years seem as though they are a world away when you have not yet reached retirement age. Yet, if you don’t make the necessary plans to prepare for any and all eventualities you may someday find yourself in an uncomfortable situation that could’ve been avoided.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at powers of attorney. Most people are aware of the fact that a power of attorney is used to appoint an agent to act in your behalf in a legally binding fashion. Statistics tell us that somewhere in the vicinity of half of those who reach the age of 85 suffer from dementia, which can make it impossible to make sound financial and medical decisions. If you were to become unable to make decisions due to dementia, the court could appoint a guardian of its choosing to act in your behalf and you could become a ward of the state.
That is, unless you have executed the appropriate powers of attorney that name attorneys-in-fact to act in your behalf. But, standard powers of attorney do not remain in effect after the incapacitation of the grantor. So, elder law attorneys will recommend the execution of durable powers of attorney, and these legal instruments do in fact remain in effect after the incapacitation of the grantor. In many jurisdictions you also have the option of executing a springing durable power of attorney. These POAs do not take effect unless the grantor does indeed become incapacitated.
If you would like more information about incapacity planning and durable powers of attorney, seize the day and contact an experienced elder law attorney to arrange for a consultation.