Is Your Power of Attorney Powerful Enough?
Powerful “power of attorney” (POA) documents are essential, if there ever comes a time when you or your elder become unable to manage your finances or make health-care decisions.
Beware if you rely only on POAs that hospitals provide, or that you have pulled off the Internet, or that you have received from attorneys who do not focus their practice specifically on elder law. When an emergency arises, the bank or health-care provider may refuse to allow your agent to act – and then the only recourse is to go to court and get a guardianship.
This is definitely not what you want to hear in an emergency. Guardianship proceedings cost time and money, they expose your private affairs to the public, and you or your elder can lose control of your autonomy. Worst case, unfriendly family-members can try to take advantage of a helpless elder, and it can cost tremendous anxiety and expense to defend against that threat.
This is why our firm's POAs for financial and health-care matters are continuously reviewed and drafted by professionals who are up to date on the current requirements for these important documents. We want to help to anticipate as many nuances as possible, to ensure that when you need assistance, your documents will be there to avoid guardianships and to help you get the responsible financial coverage and health-care treatment you need.
A client came in recently with a health-care POA from another state. She wanted know whether it would do the job for her father. We said emphatically “no.”
– The document failed to specify the kind of health-care the father would want; and
– It failed to comply with our state law, meaning that it likely wouldn’t work here; and
– It failed to protect the father’s agent from liability for a bad decision; and
– It failed to provide the agent with access to essential medical records; and
– It even failed to designate who should serve as an agent!
Are you sure that your POA is up to date and will fulfill all of your needs in the event of your incapacitation? Contact our office today at (402) 614-6400 to schedule a free consultation to have an attorney review your POA or create a comprehensive POA to fulfill your future needs.
Visit our website at www.ElderLawOmaha.com.