Estate planning is something that's been in the news in California a lot lately, especially with so many celebrities with sizable estates having recently passed away without having a will or trust in place. It may cause others to think they should establish a plan but the number of documents and the process itself can seem a little daunting. One term that is heard a lot but may not be understood is power of attorney.
Estate planning is not just for the rich and famous. However, the rich and famous are not immune to estate planning mistakes. From failing to have an estate plan to being exploited by the people to whom they granted power of attorney, they have taken missteps that others can learn from in California.
Most people think of estate planning and wills, but there are other elements that can assist the individual during times of need while still living. A medical power of attorney is one such element of a complete estate plan that an individual in California can utilize to assist him or her while alive and in need of extra support. The medical POA enables the individual to assign a person to make medical decisions on his or her behalf if he or she is incapacitated.
Some children watch their parents get older and wonder how they will handle the needs of their parents as they age. If the parent becomes ill or otherwise unable to manage his or her finances and health care decisions, who can help? In California, a parent may choose to assign a power of attorney to one of his or her children so that the individual can help the parent in the event of illness or emergency.
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.