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Sobering Story About Lack of POA

       June is a month for celebrations.  Whether it’s friends or family it seems there is always a prom, high school or college graduation or wedding to celebrate every year.  It’s the good stuff in life.  While I certainly don’t want to ruin the party, this week I do want to share a call we received last week.

       Monica called concerning her son, Jay who is 22 years old.  Two weeks before he his college graduation he was in a serious car accident.  After being hospitalized for a few weeks he is now moving to a long term care facility.  Monica explained that he sustained a brain injury and doctors have told her he has a long road to recovery.

       She called us because Jay does not have a financial or medical power of attorney.  Monica and her husband are running into problems making decisions on his behalf – both financial and medical – and right now Jay is not yet competent to execute any documents on his own behalf.  Guardianship for Jay is the only option.

       I have written in this blog a number of times about why you want to avoid a guardianship.  (See 10-14-12 post.)  It is time consuming, expensive and intrusive.  It is also very easy to avoid by the execution of a financial as well as a medical POA.  Every person over the age of 18 should have one of each.  Jay is an example of why even young adults should have these documents.  We never know what the future holds for us.

       So in this month of celebration, if you have a child 18 or older make a point of contacting an attorney to get these documents in place.  It’s not the most appealing graduation gift you can give your child, and hopefully none of us will have to go through the tragedy that Monica is dealing with, but it is an easy step to take that could save any parent the added stress and expense of a court proceeding.