Certified New Jersey Elder Law Attorneys

McHugh & Macri
Certified Elder Law Attorneys Serving New Jersey Residents since 1978.
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Estate planning and powers of attorney

NAELA National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. MEMBER

New Jersey families with elderly loved ones might want to think about arranging power of attorney paperwork before time and infirmity become factors making financial decisions more difficult. These Estate planning discussions are often best done early, since a power of attorney can be necessary when the family member is no longer able to take part in such deliberations. The most challenging part of having this talk with an elder is picking the right time, since it is not a pleasant subject but is highly important to address for everyone involved.

Having the right documentation is the first step in avoiding financial problems in the event of a medical crisis. A financial power of attorney will allow an appointed person to act on the subject's behalf to work with funds to keep bills paid, including the possible sale of assets in order to achieve other monetary goals. This paperwork lets everyone know what the subject wants done and who should do it, exercising control before faculties fade and that is no longer possible.

Another keystone in the structure of one's continued influence even in the case of incapacitation is the advanced health care directive, or living will. Essentially, this is a medical power of attorney, appointing a person who knows the subject's wishes for his or her medical disposition and directing healthcare providers to follow those wishes.

Estate planning such as asset preservation planning or assigning a durable power of attorney may be made easier through the assistance of a legal professional with experience in family law. A lawyer may make the drafting and filing of necessary documents a smoother process.

Source: Forbes, "How To Have The Power-Of-Attorney Talk Before It's Too Late", Nancy Anderson, November 29, 2013

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