Powers of Attorney - The Facts

attorney children court dpoa financial health michigan powers of attorney Dec 29, 2016


The Facts...


If you become sick or disabled, either temporarily or permanently, who will make decisions for you?

  • A Power of Attorney allows you to appoint someone you trust to handle your affairs if you cannot do so. 
  • If you are unable to do it yourself, your family will be prevented from paying bills, getting records, helping you get treatment, pay doctors or qualify for Medicaid, or making other important decisions on your behalf, if you do not have comprehensive, well written, and specific Powers of Attorney in place.
  • Without comprehensive, well written and specific Powers of Attorney, your family may have to file a court proceeding, seeking guardianship of you (for health care decisions) or seeking conservatorship (for financial decisions). This process involves the Court, several lawyers and usually at least $4,000 to $50,000. A Power of Attorney might cost $200 - $500.
  • There are two main types of Powers of Attorney:  financial and health care.  Financial powers allow a trusted person to pay bills and ensure financial stability for your care.  Health care powers enable a family member to know what to do in stressful, difficult times regarding your wishes, and if properly written, contain the right language to allow your family to access medical records.  
  • There is also another document typically used by attorneys that you may have heard of:  a living will.  Unlike a health care power of attorney, which mainly relates to end-of-life decisions, a living will typically gives more comprehensive instructions for disability. 
  • Parents frequently do not realize they will not be able to access their children’s medical or financial information once they turn 18 without the child executing Powers of Attorney.

It is important that you give your family the tools to help you if you cannot help yourself.


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This article regarding powers of attorney by Michigan lawyer Nicole Wipp and the Family & Aging Law Center PLLC is not, and should not be construed as, legal advice. It is for general informational purposes only. To better understand how this legal concept can be applied to you, consult with an attorney.