Two Problems with Creating Your Own Power of Attorney
While having a power of attorney in place is a good idea for anyone that is at least 18 years of
age, it is a virtual necessity for people in the 65-and-over age group. Not having one in place
may lead to serious problems down the road, should you become incapacitated due to illness or
injury and your loved ones need to petition the court for a guardianship. Although the concept of
power of attorney may seem relatively straightforward, if you have never created this type of
document before, there are a few common problems of which you should be aware.
Lack of specificity
Not wanting to disturb the status quo, many people grant power of attorney to more than one
person. Although the reasons for doing so are understandable, the end result is usually that
instead of avoiding conflict, multiple designations lead to greater conflict. To avoid family
infighting, pick one person to whom you will grant power of attorney. Doing so may cause some
hard feelings but, in the long run, it is much more likely to prevent conflict.
Choosing the wrong power of attorney for the job
When it comes to the power of attorney it is not one-size-fits-all. Because people encounter
different problems as they age, most notably the decline in mental faculties, simply having a
healthcare power of attorney for someone in their eighties would likely be inappropriate;
similarly, granting financial power of attorney when you are in your forties is likely to be
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