By Brenda Deschner. 

I am asked by families all the time if they need to have Power of Attorney. In general, the answer is no, but I’m going to explain why you SHOULD have one.

No one ever plans a heart attack, cancer, a fall with broken bones. Worse, not knowing you are in early stages of Alzheimer’s or Dementia and a fall, stroke or urinary tract infection suddenly brings your Alzheimer’s or Dementia symptoms into a deeper stage.

Since we can’t plan for if, or when, any of these things may take place, a plan is necessary before anything happens.

When you don’t have a Power of Attorney you are leaving your spouse or children to make life and death decisions for you. They do not want to make these decisions for you. They feel a tremendous amount of pressure, and are worried about making the wrong decision. They will not have access to your money. They may not have the funds to cover your care costs. Without access to funding, they cannot make a plan that will assure the best outcome for you; these are things you will need help with.

If you don’t have a Power of Attorney and you do not have a spouse or any living children it may be necessary to appoint a guardian for you. This means that someone from the state can and will act as your guardian, make your health decisions and have access to your money. You will not have a choice in the matters of your care, location of home or care facility, or your money.

When you have a Power of Attorney, they’re able to make decisions for your health, based on what you have outlined regarding what you want and need if you become unable to. They will have the authority and the means to provide you the care you need or wish for, as well as the location of a home with care.

Having a Power of Attorney will help put your mind at rest knowing your wishes will be honored and that it is your choice. A relevant Power of Attorney is just one more way you can show your loved ones you care about them too, by removing the burden of trying to determine what you really want!

Concierge Care has a list of carefully vetted Elder Law and Estate Planning attorneys available to their clients.