Are you planning to live?
by Beth Newcomb
Most people understand the value of planning for when they die, but did you know it’s equally if not more important to plan to live?
“When we think of estate planning and planning ahead, we often forget about the fact that part of that planning needs to include a financial power of attorney and a health care power of attorney,” says John J. Urban, an attorney who has concentrated in estate management since the ‘70s.
John recalls the story of a woman whose husband had an immediate need to go into a nursing home. The problem was the man didn’t have either power of attorney document in place.
“We had to petition the court to have the wife appointed, but she didn’t qualify because her credit was bad,” he says. “Then we tried to have the two kids appointed and their credit was worse.”
In the end, an independent lawyer was appointed as power of attorney for the man and it took weeks for the court to make the decision. In the meantime, John says, the man was in limbo in the nursing home because he couldn’t receive treatment.
By appointing a person of your choosing in financial and health care power of attorney documents, credit history doesn’t come into play and you’ll get the care you need right away. Additionally, your bills will continue to be paid and insurance claims can be filed.
“Without these two documents, it’s a guaranteed trip to probate court and up to a six-week wait to establish a guardian,” John cautions.
John says it takes just a few hours to secure the necessary documentation to protect yourself should you become incapacitated and unable to make your own decisions.
For Mimi readers and members of the AARP network, John provides a free, 45-minute legal services consultation in person or on the phone and offers his services at a contracted discount rate. Be sure to mention this story or your membership when you schedule an appointment. House calls and select evening appointments are available.
To reach attorney John J. Urban, call 440-846-0000, ext. 227. His offices are located at 11221 Pearl Road, in Strongsville. Visit the website at JJUrbanLaw.com.