As of me writing this (late July 2020), we are definitely living in a very different time. I don’t think of myself as “old” but I do have more than a few decades under my belt. I’ve never seen nor even imagined a time such as this. The aging population during times of quarantine need to make sure things are in order by having the right Power of Attorney.
This is a particularly rough time for my clientele, the aged in America. They are suffering more than anyone from this current situation. They not only suffer more from the disease but they suffer from the imposed isolation from all but “essential” personnel. Our elderly need companionship and they need someone there to help them since they are suggested from getting out and most likely banned from getting out to do things.
This time though brings to mind the importance of having documents in place that take care of situations just like this.
Doing it the Right Way
For 20 years now, I have recommended that my clients have an immediately effective Power of Attorney for finances and healthcare. Many well respected attorneys refuse my advice by having clients sign Springing Powers of Attorney. A springing Power of Attorney appoints an agent but is has NO POWER until some event “springs” later to make it effective. That springing event is typically a medical diagnosis of incapacity. Therefore, in times like this when the person is not incapacitated, but isolated, the document has no power since the springing event did not occur.
My clients can, and have been, calling their agent and having them go do whatever needs to be done. They do not have to worry about the bank or the financial advisor nor the insurance not being taken care of when they cannot get out. They are still perfectly competent and could do it if they could. However, since they signed an immediately effective Power of Attorney, they know that this person can today (and has been able to since they signed the document) go take care of whatever business needs to be done. They have peace of mind.
Go Look at Yours Now
I urge you to go look at your power of attorney right now. See if there is language in there somewhere that says that “this document comes into effect when I am deemed to be incapacitated” or something similar. If your Power of Attorney says that, I really encourage you to give my office a call and let’s update that document so that it is immediately effective.
If you haven’t done a Power of Attorney, it is absolutely time that you do it. Appoint a spouse or very trusted family member or friend as your agent so that if you cannot or should not get out, then that person can go make sure things are done for you.
The last thing I want to do is be seen as taking advantage of this situation. I’m not but it’s times like this (and I am sure there will now be more times in the future) where it brings to life the issue of making sure your affairs are in order. The easiest way to do this is by doing very specific Powers of Attorney with the appropriate powers.
At Least Do Something
Finally, any Power of Attorney is better than no Power of Attorney. However, there are certain powers that need to be in place in every Power of Attorney. I have a special report that discusses those powers, 9 of them in fact. I encourage you to click the link below to immediately get the report. This will also get you on our mailing list so that you can get all of the information you need and be up to date by email.
Hang in there! This is a very strange time and we as Americans are strong and we will get through this and I think we will be stronger once we are through it. Please, take this time to contact us and we can get these documents done for you and you will never have to leave home. We have capability to do our initial meeting by video if you have a computer and internet connection. It’s not face to face but it’s pretty close. We can do the rest of it all by phone and mail.
If you have any questions, give us a call at 918-901-7777.
- Jorjana Marx, JD
- Blaine Frizzell, JD, LLM
- Todd Whatley, JD, LLM, CELA