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Elder law issues: The importance of powers of attorney

Like many other Delaware residents, you more than likely do not want to think about a time in your life when you will not be able to make decisions for yourself. However, as you age, you may wonder if such a time could come. This eventuality makes powers of attorney so important in elder law.

Most people have two types of medical power of attorney. One allows a trusted person to make financial decisions on your behalf and the other allows someone to make health care decisions for you when you are unable to do so. These powers of attorney can take effect immediately upon execution or you can stipulate that you must be declared incapacitated first.

You can also give the individual or individuals you name in each power of attorney as much or as little power with which you feel comfortable. For instance, you may want to make sure that your bills are paid, but do not want someone else to be able to sell your property. Choosing the right person or people to take on these tasks in your stead requires a fair amount of consideration. You may want the person you choose to understand your wishes, be like-minded in making financial and health care decisions and someone that you know will carry out your wishes no matter how difficult it may be for him or her.

Knowing how powers of attorney fit into your estate plan may require obtaining an understanding of your rights and the different powers you may give in these documents. A Delaware elder law attorney can provide you with this information, which could help in the choices you make regarding these documents. One of the most important factors is that you should gain peace of mind that your finances and your life are in the right hands should there come a time when you need someone else to step in and make decisions on your behalf.

Source: capemaycountyherald.com, "What is Power of Attorney Used For?", Dec. 31, 2017

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