As we move into the holiday season and prepare to enjoy time with family and friends, consider finding out if loved ones have a durable power of attorney. Everyone should anticipate that they may be unable to handle their affairs at some point during their adult lives. A power of attorney gives the individual you appoint the ability to act on your behalf until you recover.
As soon as you reach 18, it’s recommended that a power of attorney is in place with a trusted family member. Parents have found that they are unable to learn about an adult child’s healthcare issues if they don’t have a medical power of attorney in place — even through they are paying for their healthcare expenses.
The statistics regarding the likelihood that you may need someone to step in and help are alarming—some 43 percent of all people age 40 now will have a long-term disability event (lasting 90 or more days) prior to reaching age 65. And seven out of ten people who turn 65 today will need some type of long-term care services and support lasting three or more years.
A durable power of attorney typically costs just a few-hundred dollars. We recommend you consult with a lawyer dedicated to the practice of estate law licensed in your state to determine your needs.
Related News Stories
The Power of Attorney Can Help With a Loved Ones Care
Your Daily Journal 11/28/2014
A good overview explaining the benefits of a power of attorney.
Veterans Fighting Back Over Power of Attorney
A story that illustrates the risk of not already having a power of attorney in place.
Guardianship vs. Power of Attorney Not Usually Choices
Poughkeepsie Journal, 11/9/2014
The expense and cost to your dignity when a loved one has to petition the court for guardianship make a power of attorney the preferred choice.
If you want to learn about my life experience (both good and bad) in using a Durable Power of Attorney to help my aging parents, check out Dealing with Dementia.