My colleague’s blog on August 5 was titled: “Do I Really Need A Power of Attorney?” Let me add my loud response of ‘YES YOU DO’ because if you don’t, your wishes of how you want to live your life, will likely not be heard. This is the reality for many who have no one to advocate for them and ultimately, when they are no longer capable, the last chapter of their life may turn into a horror story. This is the case of one such older individual who found themselves living in a hospital ward for 3 years because no one was paying attention or gave a second thought to them AND this is not an isolated incident.
Family doesn’t have to be the first choice when it comes to making the important and difficult decision of who will be your attorney for personal care.
We have worked with a number clients who have chosen a friend or more than one friend to assume the role of Power of Attorney, both for care and finance. Even when family is available, they may not be the most appropriate choice and if there is any doubt as to whose interests they are serving, than better to rethink things. Sadly, many older individuals may have outlived their family and friends and this is a common and unfortunate circumstance. I believe that Trust Companies can be a great choice as a corporate Attorney for Property. However for Personal Care, this is not an option. We need to think creatively about this issue as the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee cannot do it all.
Lesson to remember: It is important to make sure you have selected the best and most appropriate person/people to be your attorney for care and property. I encourage you to have an open dialogue with family and friends about your wishes and to start your future planning now.