Monthly Archives: January 2015

Power of Attorney

Do you have a power of attorney? If not, have you considered what might happen if you where suddenly unable to make decisions for yourself. No one ever wants to believe this can happen to them. Unfortunately, 2014 was the year my family was impacted by just this type of event.

My husband went in for elective surgery in August. We planned for possible death and the 2 weeks hospital stay with 6 weeks recovery time. We did not count on complications that would place him on a ventilator for several weeks, being unconscious and unable to make decisions for nearly 4 months. We where fortunate that there was money in joint accounts that allowed me to keep paying the mortgage, car, and other household bills. However, that is not always the case.

You may be thinking that you don’t own a home, so this wouldn’t apply to you.  But consider what would happen if you didn’t pay your rent for 4 months.  Would you still have an apartment or house to go back to, once released from the hospital?  Would your car be reposessed? Would your utilities be shut off?  How long will it take to get all of this sorted out, if no one is taking care of things while you are unable to do so?

Some things to think about when planning for financial security:

1. Have a will. None of us know how many days or hours we have left.  Just listen to the news to see how many lives where cut short due to an accident, a house fire, a killing.

2. Have a viable power of attorney (POA) for financial and legal transactions.  The POA allows someone you trust to take care of all your legal and financial transactions.  They must act in your best interest doing as you would, if you where able.

3. Keep a list of financial resources, such as checking and savings accounts. If you have retirement funds or disability policies, make sure they are included on the list of assets.  Depending on the length of time you are unable to act on your behalf, these resources may need to be accessed.

4. Maintain a list of debtors. If you are unable to pay your own bills, someone will need to step in and do the job for you.  That person will need to know who you owe.

5. Have a medical Power of Attorney. It is important to have someone you trust advocating for you.  If you are married, the spouse does have a legal right to make decisions on your behalf.  But if you are a single adult, that person may end up being a parent or sibling, the next of kin.  Decide in advance who you want to represent you.  It may be a significant other that you want, not a family member.

6.  Obtain disability insurance.  Whether you get a policy through your employer or individually, it is important to have an income when you are unable to work.  There are several types of policies available.  Speak to an agent who can help you decide what will work best for your situation.

If you want to discuss any of these items, contact us at