What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a document that allows you to name the person you desire to take care of you and make decisions for you, if you are mentally unable to do so yourself. This document can cover financial decisions and health care decisions. If you are mentally disabled and you do not have a Power of Attorney document in place, your loved ones must go to Probate Court and have a Judge appoint a Conservator and a Guardian to care for you and make decisions for you. Often the Conservator and Guardian is a family member. This Court process is called “Living Probate.” The Judge must appoint an attorney to represent you, and your family would have an attorney who must convince the Judge that you really are incompetent. In order to do this, witnesses to your mental mistakes are called to testify in Court. Expert witnesses that have evaluated your mental condition are used by the Court as well. As you can imagine, with an attorney representing your family, a separate attorney representing you, and a list of Witnesses testifying about your mental difficulties, Living Probate can be very expensive, humiliating, and time consuming.

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