Over time, many people tend to forget who is named to serve in their power of attorney documents. If years have gone by since you prepared your POAs, take a quick look. You might find that you need to make an update if your primary agent has died, moved away, or is no longer able or willing to take on the responsibility.
Updating POA documents is one of those tasks that is important, but not urgent until the document is needed, but by then it can be too late. If you lose capacity due to a stroke, dementia, an accident, or other medical situation, updating the POA can be impossible.
A power of attorney normally designates alternate agents, but it can be cumbersome for the alternate agent to prove to a financial institution that the primary agent is unavailable. Periodic review and minor updates to your POA selections can make it easier for your agent to act quickly when needed.
Updating your POA document does not need to be expensive, but not having power of attorney can be costly since the alternative is often guardianship. Guardianship proceedings in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania tend to cost several thousand dollars for the initial appointment of the guardian, plus ongoing fees to maintain the guardianship. A properly drafted power of attorney naming a trustworthy and capable agent can avoid guardianship, saving a great amount of money and time in the long run.
Keeping your power of attorney designations current to make sure you have the right people named and that the document is quickly honored by financial institutions when needed.
Disclaimer: We recommend that you receive ongoing legal advice from an elder law attorney before attempting to navigate the Medicaid application process. If you have questions or wish to secure our services, please contact us.