Keeping the Court Out of Your Personal Decisions
October 1, 2012
Each year, numerous petitions are filed with the court seeking the appointment of a guardian and/or conservator to make decisions for a person who has lost their ability to make their own decisions whether due to physical or mental illness. This process is expensive, lengthy and public. Fortunately, you can almost always keep the court out of your personal decisions by executing two fairly simple documents – a Durable Power of Attorney and a Health Care Proxy.
A Durable Power of Attorney is a legal document in which you name someone to make your financial decisions if you are unable to make them. The person named will have complete control of your assets and will be able to manage them as you would if you were able. Spouses, children, relatives and trusted friends are the most obvious choices for this role. Since the person named in your Durable Power of Attorney will enjoy full access to your finances, there is great potential for abuse. Thus, the individual selected should have some financial savvy, be completely trustworthy and have your best interests at heart.
Similarly, a Health Care Proxy is a legal document in which you name someone to make your medical decisions if you are unable to make them …
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by: Gina M. Barry