Long Island elder law lawyers provide assistance with the creation of a power of attorney so you can control who is in charge of your assets in case of incapacity. When you create a power of attorney, you name an agent or an attorney in fact. This agent has a fiduciary duty to act on your behalf. Ideally, the person will be someone you can trust to manage assets and make decisions. When you name your agent in advance, you can talk with that person about your preferences so you can feel fairly confident they’ll be able to act in a way you would approve of.
Unfortunately, sometimes people do not create a power of attorney or use other alternatives such as a living trust to control who manages their assets and/or makes their decisions. This can be a big problem if a person becomes sick or hurt with no incapacity plan in place.
Mark S. Eghrari & Associates PLLC can provide assistance in situations when a person has become sick or hurt with no power of attorney, but it is important to understand what to expect under these circumstances and what the downsides are to not having a power of attorney in place.
What Happens if You Do Not Have a Power of Attorney?
If you do not have a power of attorney and you become unable to make you decisions or manage your affairs, someone will have to be appointed to act for you. Depending upon the circumstances, someone may need to be appointed to make healthcare choices for you and someone may need to be appointed to manage your assets and make other decisions on your behalf. The level of control the appointed person is given will depend upon whether you have made any other advanced incapacity plans, such as making a living will or a living trust.
If someone has to be appointed to act on your behalf, this is usually done during guardianship proceedings. Guardianship proceedings must be initiated in court. A case must be made that you are actually incapacitated. The court will declare you are incapacitated and that you should be treated as a ward. The court will then appoint an appropriate person to act as your guardian.
The court typically monitors the actions taken by a guardian in order to ensure that the person is actually acting in the best interests of the ward and is doing what is expected of him or her under Michigan law.
What are the Downsides of Not Having a Power of Attorney?
There are many downsides to guardianship proceedings, as opposed to working with Long Island elder law lawyers to make an incapacity plan. If guardianship proceedings are necessary due to lack of an incapacity plan, the process can be stressful and costly for loved ones. It can also result in outcomes that are less-than-ideal for the incapacitated person.
When you suffer a medical emergency, your family will likely be very upset. As they cope with being upset, they’ll also have to deal with the technicalities of going to court for guardianship proceedings.
During this time period when the proceedings are going on, there can be lots of uncertainty about who is in charge of managing assets and making decisions. With no one having authority to act, important decisions could fall by the wayside and asset value could decline. The court could also appoint a person as guardian who is not the person the incapacitated individual would have chosen.
Getting Help from Long Island Elder Law Lawyers
You do not want to end up in a situation where you have no power of attorney in place and you become temporarily incapacitated or are left permanently incapacitated by an illness or injury. It is far better for you and all of your loved ones if you have made advanced plans in case of incapacity. Don’t wait to do this, because there are no guarantees in life. You never know when or if something could happen that affects your ability to act on your own and manage your assets. Let Mark S. Eghrari & Associates PLLC help you today to make your plans.
To find out more about what is involved in the incapacity planning process, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at (631) 265-0599 or contact us online to get personalized advice from Long Island elder law lawyers. We can help with planning ahead in case of incapacity plan and responding to the incapacity of your loved one. Call now to find out more about the help we can offer.
Latest posts by Mark S. Eghrari, Estate Planning Attorney (see all)
- How Much Should Seniors Be Saving for Healthcare Costs During Retirement? - May 23, 2017
- Can You Put Your House Into a Trust? - May 18, 2017
- Estate Planning Tips for Unmarried Couples - May 16, 2017