How Old Should You Be Before You Get Powers of Attorney?

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How old should you be before you get powers of attorney? In this video, I was inspired right after leaving a court hearing to answer this VERY important question about why it may not be when, or why, you think.

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Prefer to read this information? Below is the video transcript.

So how old should you be before you have a power of attorney?

Hi, I'm Nicole Wipp, the founder and lead attorney of the Family and Aging Law Center.

I'm sitting here in my car after I literally just got out of court in that building right there today, and I got so inspired to make this video because of what happened in court today.

You know, the reason that I was there is because I was representing a woman that is younger than me. She has a husband that got in a terrible car accident, and now is completely unable to make any decisions for himself related to finances and related to his health.

And so now, this young woman - this mother and wife, had to go to court because she is not legally capable of doing all the things that she needs to do. And that's the big problem. A lot of people, especially younger people, do not get powers of attorney done because they have the mistaken belief that because they are somebody's spouse or because they're somebody's, if you have a child that's 18 years of age or above, that somehow you're going to be able to make those decisions or do those things by virtue of your relationship to them.

But the fact is, that the law does not allow for that. And then we end up in court.

And so I really encourage you, that if you are 18 years or above or you have a child that's 18 years or above, or if you're married, please don't make these assumptions. This is a very typical instance.

I would say it's horrible instance, but the fact is that bad things happen to good people. Bad things happen to good people!

This was a healthy person. He was full of life, had a great job, took care of himself, no health problems ... and then something tragic and unexpected happened.

And now, his poor wife is left to deal with all of the emotional and mental fallout, and the financial fall out of it.

And then on top of it we have to go to court.

I don't wish this upon anybody. And the solution to it is to have good powers of attorney. Now I stress the word good powers of attorney, because I do want you to know that the other two times that I end up in court... so there's three times we go to court.

One is if you don't have them (powers of attorney).

The second one is if you download them from the Internet, or third, have an attorney that really doesn't do this type of work draft them.

And the reason is because those types of powers of attorney are very often defective.

What we see all the time is that financial institutions reject them, and then we need to get the court to force them into doing something. And sometimes the court will ... and sometimes they won't.

And so if you want to keep control within your family, if you want to do something that's a real act of love. Because in my opinion, and I believe this with all my heart, getting these documents done right is an act of love.

Of course, we're here to help you if you want.  Please call our office if that's something that makes sense to you.

But also just remember that the cost of doing is very much less the cost of getting both financial and medical powers of attorney done - good ones- is far less than not getting them done, because the cost isn't just about money.

It's about stress, time having to deal with things that you've never had to - wanted to - in a million years like going to court.

And so, by simply doing this, you are committing an act of love for the people that you care about ... and that is what's important.

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The information in this blog is not intended to be, nor should it be, construed as legal advice. It is for informational purposes only. For advice, specific to your situation, consult with a qualified attorney.