Friday, April 17, 2015

Should I Give A Power of Attorney to a Family Member or Friend?

April 17, 2015

Dear Cathy:

I am in my late 70s.  I moved into a smaller home when I became a widow a few years ago.  I have an overbearing daughter across country, an unreliable son who lives close to me and several close female friends.  I have been in and out of sickness over the past few years.  At one point I almost lost my home.  I am having trouble concentrating and is thinking about writing a Power of Attorney until I can recover.  Should I give this Power of Attorney to a family member or friend?  Sickly in Alabama

Dear Sickly:

If you embrace a natural and holistic lifestyle, you should be able to overcome any type of sickness or illness.  Whether you want to admit it or not, getting sick and almost losing your home can be one of the most stressful times ever.  You might want to think about giving “Power of Attorney” to someone you trust to handle your personal affairs.

Discuss the different possibilities for Power of Attorney with an attorney as soon as possible.  You may or may not need to limit your Power of Attorney to certain areas such as sale of the property and other areas of your personal life such as help with paying the bills.

Most seniors should have all their bills set up automatically to be taken out of their personal bank accounts around the first of the month.  This will help to make sure that all your important bills are paid on time so you don’t risk losing your home.  You can set this up with many companies or most banks can do this for you but be careful with setting up your light or cable bills because they can go up and down every month. 

It’s always best to give the Power of Attorney to a family member but others including close friends might be willing to help as well but it needs to be friends that you can truly trust.  At your age you should also have a Living Will and Advanced Directive put into place so again talk with an attorney as soon as possible.

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