In the words of the comedian Larry the Cable Guy, get er done!
If you’re waiting to do your powers of attorney until you think you might need them, you’ve waited too long. Too often we have children contact us because they need to get a power of attorney for their parent. A power of attorney is not something a child gets from or for the parent – it’s authority that the parent gives to the child (or whomever they want to name.) This means the parent has to have capacity to sign a legal document. Waiting until you need the assistance is potentially too late.
If you don’t have a durable power of attorney in place, and you become incapacitated, then a guardianship and/or conservatorship will probably be necessary. A guardian is a person appointed by the probate Court to make decisions for an incapacitated person regarding their living arrangements, health care, and general daily activities. A conservator is a person, again appointed by the probate Court, who has control of your financial affairs. Often the guardian and conservator are the same individual.
So unless you are okay with the probate judge being in charge of your life and finances, we recommend you get your powers of attorney done. A little bit of prevention can go a long way in saving time and money. The powers of attorney are quite inexpensive compared to the cost of ongoing court proceedings. If you need assistance, the attorneys at Cripps & Simmons are ready to help. Just give us a call.