Everybody’s circumstances are different. The reasons why someone would need to ensure they have an advocate ready with Durable Power of Attorney are scary. The thought may make you uncomfortable, but it is a necessary process to make sure your wishes are respected, and carried out. That is why Attorney Dean E. Patrick, works with his clients one on one to explore, discover, and assure their goals are attained. It’s not only legal advice that you’ll receive, but a little peace of mind as well.
Below are a few stories to help you recognize your goals in regards to estate planning and the probate process.
Maintaining Control and Privacy
Frank and Alice were married for several years. In an unfortunate event, Frank became incapacitated. Unable to maintain their property and in need of money for Frank’s care, Alice looked to sell the family home. Stressed by the incapacity of Frank, Alice felt some relief when buyers were found. Unfortunately, the relief didn’t last long.
When it came time to close on the sale, the real estate agent would not let Alice sign on behalf of Frank. The agent explained that Alice would have to petition the probate court for control of Frank’s finances. Things continued to get worse.
With the help of an attorney, Alice petitioned the probate court to be the conservator of her husband’s finances. The court did not feel Alice had the ability to act on behalf of her husband and nominated a court appointed conservator. Alice was devastated, but at least the house would be sold.
Because Frank was deemed an incapacitated individual by the probate court, his assets, and the the assets held jointly with Alice, became a matter of public record for the neighbors or anyone else to view as they pleased.
If you do not plan, the probate process makes decisions for you. Frank and Alice could have maintained control if they had nominated a conservator or created a durable power of attorney for finance while they had capacity.
Emotional Toll of End of Life Decisions
Alice passed away, leaving the oldest son, Jeremy, to manage the healthcare and end of life decisions for Frank. Frank and Alice had discussed end of life treatment with each other in the past, and decided they did not want life support if they were near end of life. Unfortunately, they had never spoken with the children about their wishes.
As Frank neared an end of life state, Jeremy swore he would do all he could to keep his father alive. The mere thought of withdrawing his father’s life support was unacceptable. Frank lived for another ten years using resources he would have preferred go to his children instead of doctors.
If you do not plan, you give up control and force someone to deal with a very emotional issue. Frank and Alice could have maintained control if they had created a durable power of attorney for healthcare with end of life directives.
Learn more about Dean Patrick’s services:
- Power of Attorney Finance
- Power of Attorney Physical Health
- Power of Attorney Mental Health
- Power of Attorney FAQ
Contact Dean E. Patrick at his Southfield, Michigan office at (248) 663-2566 or click here to arrange your free initial consultation regarding any power of attorney matters.