There may come a time in life when individuals become incapacitated and unable to care for their own affairs. At the time of such an event, it is beneficial to have a trusted person already in place who is authorized to help you by managing your financial and medical affairs. The power of attorney is the name of this type of authorization, and it is commonly used as part of an estate plan in California.
It's as old as the fable of the ant and the grasshopper. By now, most people know that planning for the future early can be a huge help later on in life. One way that individuals plan for future goals is through health care planning. California residents may choose to take certain steps toward end-of-life care now to ensure that needs are met further down the line.
A person will sign a number of legal documents throughout his or her life. It has been argued that the power of attorney document is among the most important. However, many individuals never have one. In California, individuals who wish to prepare for a time when they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves may wish to learn more about this type of legal designation.
Many individuals believe that estate planning is only for rich people. This is typically not the case, as certain aspects of an estate plan can ensure that individuals live the lives they envision for themselves until death. A medical power of attorney can be a helpful tool in any person's estate plan, and a person in California may wish to review the roles and responsibilities of such a person as part of creating an estate plan.
Choosing an individual who will manage one's affairs can be an important decision. A recent news story highlights a potential problem when the power of attorney is given to the wrong person. A woman hired by the previous power of attorney was able to have the authority transferred to her, which she then allegedly used to pilfer funds from a bank account. People in California contemplating their choice for this role may learn more about why having a trusted person working for them can be vital.
At the end of life, many people do not wish to have certain life-saving interventions, choosing instead for methods that ease the transition to death. Some feel that heroic measures are unnecessary and that instead they would just like to be kept comfortable until passing. In California, health care directives are legal documents that set out a person's wishes for end-of-life that can be referred to in case of emergency or if the person is no longer able to communicate their wishes.
When an employer hires someone, efforts are made to pick the right person for the job. A power of attorney selection process can be similar. An individual will want to make sure that the chosen person has the skills and emotional maturity to handle important decisions for the person granting the power should the maker become incapacitated. In California, there are two types of power of attorney, medical and durable, and each has a specific duty.
When considering end-of-life plans, a person should not limit themselves to simply making a will. One's future goals and well-being depend on other types of estate planning documents also. In fact, a will can be considered a document made for other people, but powers of attorney, advance directives and revocable living trusts are focused on ensuring that the individual's needs are being met. California residents may find some relief when planning for the future when armed with this information.
Parents want to ensure that they are able to provide their child with the best assistance and care that they can attain. Sending the child away to college, parents may think that providing school supplies and a stipend will cover everything, but issues can spring up that call for another type of support, the durable power of attorney. By having a power of attorney in place for their 18-year-old child, parents in California can intervene and offer support during a medical emergency or a financial issue.
Life is filled with awkward conversations. From the birds and the bees to end-of-life wishes, it can be hard to make the time to talk about tough issues. But when people are able to talk about the important things in life, it can go that much more smoothly when the inevitable bumps and upsets happen. That's why a recent news article urges people in California and other states to have the conversation with their family about health care directives.