How to Create a Power of Attorney Without Triggering a Family Feud

How to Create a Power of Attorney Without Triggering a Family Feud

As a critical document in your estate plan, a Power of Attorney for Health Care (aka Advance Directive for Healthcare) gives you the opportunity to choose who you would like to give legal authority to make medical decisions on your behalf if there was ever a time when you could not make your own decisions.

There are many complexities in deciding who will have the authority to act on your behalf. Family dynamics are sure to impact your choice. Many people want to be “fair.” They believe they should divide up all of the responsibilities evenly or have all of their children act together as a team to make decisions. Most children do not want this responsibility, so they are secretly happy when they are not chosen. When there are multiple children, asking them to all agree and work cohesively together under the emotional trauma of you becoming incapacitated is problematic. None of us wants to believe that our children will fight, but the reality is that in these situations, most children disagree.

I like to have one decision maker at a time because if you have two or more people working together, it typically takes longer to make a decision. Plus, if the people cannot agree and decide on a way to come to an agreement, no decision will be made until a petition is filed in court and the court makes the decision. This is very expensive and typically takes several months before a decision can be made.

Some tips to help avoid a feud;

  1. Understand the Power of Attorney for Health Care does not become effective if or until you are incapacitated. You get to make your own medical decisions as long as you are able to understand the implementations of making or not making the decision.
  2. Chose the person you trust who will be your advocate in medical situations. When you are unable to advocate for yourself, it is critical that you have someone who can ask the right questions, get required answers, and push for the care you need. This person also needs to be available to be where you are when you need them.
  3. Help your family members that were not chosen to understand why you chose someone else. Not everyone is good at this role. We each have different strengths.

Nelson Elder Care Law is an award-winning law firm with offices conveniently located in Woodstock and Marietta, Georgia. We have helped hundreds of families make these critical decisions. Our team is here to help walk you through making decisions too.

Call to schedule your complimentary legal analysis.

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“On the threshold of retirement, we finally decided to quit thinking we could self-prepare the requisite documents. We had previously had only a very simple will. We needed the necessary legal (including updated will) & health care docs but didn’t want to deal with the time & complication of legalese. Cindy made the process relatively painless. She took the time to explain and answer questions without trying to upsell services. We were done in 2 meetings plus the reading of emailed drafts. In addition to preparing the documents, Nelson Eldercare will be there when our adult children need advice on executing the plans we’ve put in place.So glad it’s behind us and would recommend Cindy and her helpful staff.”

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I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.

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