An advance health care directive is a written document authorized under California law that allows you to take control of your medical care. By creating an advance directive before you become too ill to refuse certain medical treatments, you can take control of your future health care while you are still mentally able to do so. However, if you become mentally incompetent or unable to create an advance directive, you lose control of the ability to choose medical treatments. Some states refer … [Read more...] about Make Your Advance Health Care Directive Before It’s Too Late
Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney, or POA, is a legal document that has been around in varying forms for centuries. The concept, or purpose, behind a power of attorney is the ability to give another person the legal authority to act on your behalf. The extent and the duration of the authority depends on the type of POA that you execute. Although POAs are widely used by people of all ages, they are particularly popular with the elderly. Unfortunately, they are also widely used by people who want to take … [Read more...] about Basics of Powers of Attorney
This is the third in a three-part series of articles on Powers of Attorney by my friend and colleague Steve Hartnett, an estate planning expert. The first article examined the Financial Power of Attorney. This second article examines the Healthcare Power of Attorney and Advance Directive. Read on to learn more … [Read more...] about The Basics: “HIPAA” Powers
Powers of Attorney are part of even the simplest estate plan. A Power of Attorney allows your Agent to act for you. There are Powers of Attorney for financial matters and also those for health care as discussed by my friend and colleague Steve Hartnett, an estate planning expert. Read on to learn more … [Read more...] about The Basics: Financial Power of Attorney
You, and every person over the age of 18, need two powers of attorney. A power of attorney names a trusted helper to act on your behalf when you are unable to do so yourself. The Financial Power of Attorney The financial power of attorney authorizes your trusted helper to sign your name and conduct business on your behalf should you become incapacitated. Your trusted helper is called an “agent” or “attorney in fact,” depending on state law. It is wise to name a succession of agents in … [Read more...] about You Need Two Powers of Attorney
The Sandwich Generation is torn between caretaking responsibilities for their minor children and their elderly parents. But first, they need to make sure they take care of themselves. Read the linked article by my friend and colleague Steve Hartnett, an estate planning expert, to learn more. Planning for the Sandwich Generation … [Read more...] about Planning for the Sandwich Generation
While almost anyone can create and use a power of attorney, not everyone needs to grant an agent to handle their affairs. However, you can always create a power of attorney that will take effect in the event it is needed. If you are a person in any of the following categories, you should talk to your estate planning attorney to create a power of attorney. Seniors. Aging often requires us to give others the ability to help us manage your affairs. Your estate plan should includedifferent … [Read more...] about Who Needs A Power of Attorney?
In today’s society, family members are often scattered throughout the country and even abroad. This phenomenon can cause much stress and worry when an elder family member who is not nearby now needs additional assistance in managing his or her affairs. The first step to long-distance caregiving is to understand your loved one's situation and needs. Schedule a visit with your relative or friend spanning several days to observe how they make decisions, solve problems and complete daily tasks, … [Read more...] about Caring For a Distant Elder Family Member
This fall, many young adults will either head off to college or break out on their own. In addition to the typical list of items they may take to college, they should be prepared with the proper legal documents. What's that? You weren't aware that your now adult children need legal documents? Well, they absolutely do because in the eyes of the law (if not their parents), 18-year-olds are adults. Legally speaking, parents’ legal authority ends when their children turn 18. While your child … [Read more...] about Some Items for Your College Age and Young Adult Family Members
Often, married couples sign each other’s names to checks, documents, and birthday cards. According to the old joke, “If he actually signed his name, the bank wouldn’t recognize it.” However, except for the birthday card forging, signing your spouse’s name is illegal. This means, even if you’re married, you need a power of attorney to authorize you and your spouse to sign each other’s names. A power of attorney is a legal document through which you authorize an agent (e.g., your spouse) to … [Read more...] about I’m Married; Why Would I Need a Power of Attorney?