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The Experience of a Rookie Power of Attorney Series


Topic Two: You are in the Driver's Seat

Do you not enjoy being in the driver’s seat? Most of us do; there is something special about driving. You are in control of where you are going and when you are going to get there. Please be in the driver’s seat in this situation. Tell the person that will need to step in to help care for you and take care of your “things” what you would like to have done/given/passed on to whom. In this case, do not be a back seat driver!

Legal documents are a MUST. Everyone thinks they do not need a Power of Attorney (POA), Health Care Surrogate, and Trustee or Successor Trustee until they get old. That is rubbish! Anyone over the legal age of 18 or 21 should have such documents created by an attorney. They will be short and sweet when you are young and will probably become more complicated as you continue your life journey. If your parents or close friends have not done this either, it would be great to do together!

The POA will make all the decisions for you when something happens where you cannot make your own decisions. This could include what to do with your vehicle, when and how to sell your house, speak with creditors, pay bills etc. I soon realized that I was in control of my friend’s life and it felt overwhelming.

The condo needed to be sold and I had to empty everything and accomplished this by contacting nonprofit organizations that would come and pick up furniture, clothing, kitchen items, artwork, etc. Once the condo was emptied, I realized it was full of nail holes from artwork which needed to be patched and the place painted overall. The condo property manager identified a painter and the job was completed.

One thing most of us have is a lot of paperwork. That will need to be gone through and confidential information shredded. If there is a great deal of papers, there are shredding companies that will come to residents and complete the job on site.

The Health Care Surrogate document is also needed. That is because if you are lying in a hospital and unable to make decisions for yourself, and there is no Health Care Surrogate document, the doctor(s) will make the decision. Good or bad, they will be in the driver’s seat, not your loved one or friend. So, spend the bucks and get this created and annually, review, and update.

The POA ends when the person passes. The next role identified is the Trustee. In my case, my friend’s Will indicated the attorney would move into the Trustee role upon her death.

Now that legal documents have been prepared, the next topic is titled “The Details are in the Pudding”.  


Until next time, Nyda 

PS. Remember I am not an attorney, simply a rookie power of attorney who managed to make it through the process. 


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