Oklahoma City elder law attorneys are often asked to provide help planning ahead in case you should become incapacitated. Incapacity planning is one of the most important things you can do for your family. You don’t want to put them in a difficult position should you get sick, especially when they are already forced to cope with the challenges presented by your medical situation. You also do not want your fate to be uncertain because you have failed to plan for what should happen if you cannot speak for yourself.
One of the most important things you should do to plan for incapacity is create a power of attorney. A power of attorney (POA) allows you to specify the person who can act on your behalf to make decisions and manage your assets. You can create a healthcare power of attorney and name a healthcare proxy to make health care decisions for you, and you can create a general power of attorney to give someone authority to make financial and property decisions on your behalf. Remember, though, you must execute your power of attorney before you become incapacitated or it will be too late.
The attorneys at Parman & Easterday can help you create the powers of attorney you need to protect yourself and your loved ones. Our legal team will also work with you if your loved one has become incapacitated without a power of attorney and you need help understanding your options. Give us a call today to talk with Oklahoma City elder law attorneys who can assist you.
What Happens If It Is Too Late to Make a Power of Attorney?
If you become incapacitated due to serious physical or mental illness or a traumatic injury, you will have forfeited the right to determine who will make decisions for you since it is too late to express a preference. If no plans are in place and it is too late for you to create a power of attorney, your family will have no choice but to go to court and pursue guardianship proceedings.
Guardianship proceedings can be complicated and stressful for those involved. Your family is already having to cope with all of the ramifications of your illness or injury, from figuring out who should care for you to worrying about your condition and what happens next. The last thing your loved ones need is to be forced to navigate complicated court proceedings and incur unnecessary expenses.
During the guardianship proceedings, the court will decide if you’re incapacitated. This takes time, during which important decisions regarding management of your assets and decisions on the care you should be provided may not be made in a timely manner. And, when the court finally appoints someone to make these decisions, it may be a person you wouldn’t have chosen to act on your behalf and who you are not confident is the best person to act as your guardian. Unfortunately, it will be too late for you to do anything to change the situation.
The court will remain involved in overseeing the actions of the guardian to make sure the guardian is fulfilling his or her fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the incapacitated person. This ongoing involvement of the court at least annually can be frustrating to families who prefer to keep their situation private and make decisions within the family rather than having an outside authority oversee the decision-making process.
Getting Help From Oklahoma City Elder Law Attorneys
Parman & Easterday can provide you with assistance in creating powers of attorney so you do not put your family in the position of having to go to court in case of incapacity. When you work with our legal team, you will know you have chosen a trusted person to act on your behalf and one who you are confident will make decisions in accordance with your wishes. This means you won’t leave this important choice to fate or to the courts.
Don’t wait until it is too late to make a power of attorney. Find out more by joining us for a free seminar, give us a call today at (405) 843-6100 or (913) 385-9400 or contact us online to get the personalized advice you need to get started.