The average age of the population across the country, including here in Palm Beach, is on the rise. People are living longer due to advances in the medical field, which many would agree is a good thing. However, with this comes the possibility of spending the last days of life suffering from a condition such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in which individuals are no longer able to make decisions for themselves. Those with an estate plan in place could avoid the need for a guardianship.
If this appeals to you, then you may want to take the time to add powers of attorney to your estate plan. These documents allow someone to step into your shoes, take care of your financial affairs and make health care decisions for you when you cannot. Without these documents, your family members would need to go to court in order to obtain the right to make these decisions on your behalf.
Not having powers of attorney could end up costing your family precious financial resources. In addition, whomever the court appoints as your guardian would then be responsible for reporting to the courts. In some cases, he or she would need to obtain court permission before taking certain actions. These types of delays and financial outlays could end up hurting you, especially if medical decisions cannot be made in a timely manner.
Avoiding a situation in which your family would need to pursue a guardianship with the courts in Palm Beach County could help put everyone at ease. You would also retain control over who would ultimately be in charge of your affairs. Otherwise, it could end up being someone you would not have chosen yourself and may not trust.