Friday, April 6, 2012

Over Age 18?

By Susan M. Graham, Certified Elder Law Attorney, Senior Edge Legal, Boise, Idaho

When was the last time you were asked if you are over 18?[1]

Why do I ask?  Every adult, even young adults, should sign a financial and health power of attorney.  The law states that a person becomes an adult once they reach age 18.  If you have children or grandchildren who are going off to school, it is important that they sign a financial power of attorney, a health power of attorney and a living will so someone has the legal authority to help out in an emergency.  If there is an accident, or a serious health issue, and no power of attorney is signed indicating who is to make decisions, it will be necessary for a parent, or someone else, to file a petition at court.  The petition will ask for a court order giving them the right to act on behalf of the incapacitated person.  This court proceeding, called a Conservatorship or Guardianship, is expensive and time consuming.

An easy, common sense solution for everyone age 18 and older is for each person to just sign the powers of attorney forms.   

We have them available for free on our website.

[1] For me it was in the Chicago airport and I ordered a glass of wine.  They make everyone show identification.  How silly when you have grey hair and wrinkles!



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