Do you have a plan in place to ensure that someone is empowered to make decisions for you if you ever lose the ability to express yourself or exercise sound judgment? How will your financial assets be managed if incapacity ever renders you unable to make your own decisions? Who will make critical decisions about the type of medical treatment you receive? If you don’t have answers to those questions, then your fate could be left for strangers to decide.
Each year, many thousands of people across the United States suffer from incapacitating illnesses and injuries that leave them unable to manage their own affairs. In many of these cases, judges assign conservators to take over that decision-making – a costly process that can consume estate finances, create strife for the patient’s family, and ultimately lead to heartache and grief.
The Litherland, Kennedy & Associates, APC, Attorneys at Law can help you to avoid that by assisting you with the creation of powers of attorney documents that can protect your interests and safeguard your family’s financial future. You don’t have to let incapacitation destroy your family stability! Contact us today for a free powers of attorney consultation by calling (408) 356-9200 in Campbell or (831) 476-2400 in Aptos. We’ll discuss your options and answer important questions that include:
- Why are powers of attorney important?
- How do I create a power of attorney?
- How can a California power of attorney lawyer help me?
Why Are Powers of Attorney Important?
It’s easy to wonder why powers of attorney are needed. Many people simply assume that if they fall ill and cannot make their own decisions, then their spouse, parents, or children will make those decisions for them. In large measure, that belief is the natural result of our familiarity with how things work when we make decisions for our minor children.
For adults, however, that decision-making transfer of authority is not so simple. As guardians of our minor children, we have the right to make their financial decisions. As adults, that authority must be officially granted to another person, by either court order or through legally-enforceable documents like the power of attorney.
When incapacity strikes and you have no formal power of attorney in place to designate another person to act in your stead, important financial and medical decisions are left in a state of limbo. Property may go unmanaged, bills may go unpaid, and medical care may be all but impossible to obtain. Your family can be torn apart due to arguments and recriminations, as everyone tries to figure out what to do. Ultimately, a judge will be asked to choose a conservator to make those decisions for you – at your expense.
That also places your life under a public microscope, as the court now has access to your personal information and medical details that you might never have wanted to be a part of the public record. And that doesn’t even address the fact that you may end up with a conservator that you never would have selected to represent your interests.
A power of attorney can help you to avoid those dire consequences, by allowing you the opportunity to name your own agent, and determine just how much authority you want that person to have. A California power of attorney lawyer can help you to resolve these complex issues and regain the peace of mind that you need.
How Do I Create a Power of Attorney?
Powers of attorney can take a variety of forms. Some are of a general nature, providing broad authority to your chosen agent. Others provide only limited power, restricting the granted authority to specific tasks such as signing a check or a contract while you’re out of town.
The most important decision that you must make, however, involves the durable nature of the document. Without a durable power of attorney, your selected agent will lose authority to act on your behalf the moment you’re declared incapacitated. Your attorney can help you to ensure that the document you use provides that durable power so that your agent has the right authority to act when you need it most.
To provide maximum protection, you should have powers of attorney that deal with both financial and medical decision-making needs. Your financial power of attorney will provide the protection you need for decisions involving your financial concerns, but you’ll also need health care decision-making if you want to avoid having a conservator managing your care. In California, an advance directive for health care provides that authority to your chosen agent.
Powers of attorney are a specific type of legal document that are best crafted by trained professionals. If you want to ensure that your power of attorney does all that you need it to do, then you should rely on an experienced California power of attorney lawyer to assist in the drafting of these important documents.
How Can a California Power of Attorney Lawyer Help Me?
Incapacitation can strike without warning, and leave devastation in its wake. Without the right legal protections in place, your family may struggle to get you the help you need. The good news is that you can act now to provide yourself with the protection you need to ensure that there is no disruption in your finances or medical treatment due to serious illness or injury. At the Litherland, Kennedy & Associates, APC, Attorneys at Law, we can help to ensure that you have the powers of attorney you need to protect your interests and your loved ones.
If you’d like to schedule your free California powers of attorney and estate planning consultation, please contact us using our website, or call (408) 356-9200 in Campbell or (831) 476-2400 in Aptos.