Sudden illness or injury can leave anyone totally incapacitated. Or, the infirmities of age can compromise an older adult’s ability to fully function independently. Under such circumstances, concerned loved ones may feel compelled to act, but may lack the legal authority to do so. This can delay essential care, threatening your loved one’s health and welfare when he or she is most vulnerable. To protect your loved ones, you need clear legal authority to make decisions if they are unable to do so. Cameron Loh can help you draft and execute durable power of attorney documents so you can be certain about your authority when a loved one needs you most.
Durable Power of Attorney
Powers of attorney are documents that convey legal authority to act in the name of another person for his or her health and welfare. A power of attorney can grant broad authority or be very limited in scope. Our skilled attorneys help you prepare for contingencies based on the specific circumstances surrounding you and your loved one. However, generally speaking, powers of attorney address three main areas of concern:
- Financial management. When your loved one is incapacitated, bills and taxes still come due. Your loved one may have financial assets, such as stocks, stock options, bonds, or royalties, which require oversight. Having the authority to manage your loved one’s finances if necessary provides greater financial security. Older adults who are forgetful or susceptible to phone scams can also benefit from a loved one overseeing their bank accounts.
- Representation for legal and business matters. Small business owners and individuals involved in litigation are faced with numerous choices. These decisions, which must often be made on a daily basis, can have serious consequences. Even if your loved one is not ready to step away from day-to-day management of business and legal matters, executing power of attorney is a prudent contingency plan.
- Authority to make medical decisions. When a medical crisis strikes, many families are unsure about the extent of lifesaving treatment the injured or ill person would have wanted. Every adult should have a medical directive explaining their wishes clearly and specifying someone to carry out their desires when they can’t communicate.
We work closely with you and your loved one to evaluate each area where power of attorney is advisable, to provide you with comprehensive coverage for any foreseeable emergency.
It can be difficult to talk to a senior loved one about the need for power of attorney documents. Many are loathe to admit they may need assistance, especially from their children, and are uncomfortable even considering a reversal of roles which puts them under their children’s authority. At Cameron Loh, we are very familiar with this dynamic, and can advise you on effective ways to broach the subject with your elder loved ones.