Durable Power of Attorney for Finances
Many people fear that they may someday become seriously ill and unable to handle their own financial affairs—that they might be unable to pay bills, make bank deposits, watch over investments or collect insurance and government benefits.
As you grow older or face the possibility of an incapacitating illness, it’s wise to plan for such a contingency. Fortunately, there’s a simple way to do so: Let Accredited Legal Assistance prepare for you a durable power of attorney for finances.
About Durable Powers of Attorney for Finances
A durable power of attorney for finances is an inexpensive, reliable legal document. In it, you name someone who will make your financial decisions if you become unable to do so yourself.
This person is called your attorney-in-fact, or in some states, your agent.
If you ever do become incapacitated, the durable power of attorney will likely appear as a minor miracle to those who are close to you.
Today is the day to plan for your future
The perils of forging a signature. If someone becomes incapacitated, panicky family members may consider just faking the signatures necessary to carry on routine financial matters. It may seem perfectly acceptable to sign Aunt Amanda’s name to a check if the money is used to pay her phone bill.
But this is forgery—and it’s a crime. The law is strict in this area to guard against dishonest family members who might loot a relative’s assets.
Forging a signature on checks, bills of sale, tax returns or other financial documents may work for a while, but it will probably be discovered eventually. And then the court proceeding everyone was trying to avoid will be necessary—and a judge will not be eager to put a proven liar in charge of a relative’s finances.
Every adult can benefit from making health care directives
That is, documents in which you express your health care wishes and appoint a person to make decisions for you if, someday, you can no longer speak for yourself.
If you’re looking for a living will or durable power of attorney for health care, you’re in the right place. They are both types of health care directives.
If you’re older or in ill health, you surely understand why these documents are important. But, if you’re younger perhaps using Accredited Legal Assistance to help prepare health care documents for a loved one. Consider making documents for yourself now, even if you don’t think it’s necessary.
While the elderly and the seriously ill should make health care directives to smooth the way for decision making at the end of life, we tend to avoid another, disturbing truth: Younger, healthy adults should also have health care directives, because an incapacitating accident or unexpected illness can occur at any time.
In fact, if you look at the painful stories that make headlines, you’ll quickly notice that the bitterest family fights over end-of-life health care don’t happen when a patient is very old or has a long illness. The worst disputes arise when tragedy strikes a younger adult who never clearly expressed any wishes about medical treatment.
If you do not prepare health care documents, state law tells your doctors what to do. In some states, your doctors may decide what kind of medical care you will receive.
Problems arise when loved ones and family members disagree about what treatment is proper and everyone takes sides, claiming they want what is best for the patient.
Battles over medical care may even end up in court, especially now that some religious organizations finance lawsuits to block the removal of feeding tubes from permanently unconscious patients.
In court, a judge, who usually has little medical knowledge and no familiarity with the patient, must decide the course of treatment. Such battles which are costly, time-consuming and painful to those involved are unnecessary if you have the care and foresight to prepare a formal document to express your wishes for health care.