We help you make it easier for your family if you become disabled.

Example: John and Mary have been married 40 years. John has always kept the checkbook and paid the bills. He has a stroke.  He survives, but it’s unlikely he will be able to take care of their finances again. What can they do?

Hopefully, John has a valid Power of Attorney (POA) naming Mary or a trusted child or friend as his agent. If so, then John’s agent can use the POA to write checks on his behalf and do anything else allowed by the POA. If he doesn’t have a POA, then Mary’s only option may be to petition a court to appoint a legal guardian or conservator for John, a long and involved process which could take away some or all of John’s rights.

What if I get sick and can’t handle my own affairs?

If you wait until you actually need a POA, it may be too late to get one.  Most people should have a plan in case they get sick and can’t handle their own affairs. General Powers of Attorney and Powers of Attorney for Health Care are two ways to do this. The documents don’t have to be complicated, but there are different kinds of POAs. For example: do you need a limited POA or a general POA? One which takes effect immediately or one which takes effect upon disability? Should your POA give your agent the power to make gifts on your behalf or not? Whom should you appoint as your agent? We can help you make these important decisions.

If John has significant assets and had time to plan, he may also have wanted to place his assets into a living trust for his wife’s benefit. That way the assets would be better protected and a trusted friend or trust company could be in place to manage them for Mary.