Battle of the Ages

“Nothing in Life is so exhilarating as to be shot without result.” Winston Churchill

Gather your weapons and prepare for war. We are all in the midst of defending against the tribulations that come with old age. Protect yourself. We are not talking vitamins and exercise – we are talking about making sure that people respect your choices.

You need a Medical Power of Attorney. If you have a stroke or are sedated in an operating room, you need to have a delegate who will make health decisions for you. Not the doctor, not the minister, and maybe not your child or parent. Your delegate needs to know how you feel about feeding tubes, limb amputation and cancer treatments. Your delegate needs the ability to put personal feelings aside to follow your wishes.

You need a Designation of Guardianship. The laws have rigged guardianship in such a way that you have to pay the attorneys who are fighting to declare you incompetent. The protections against a bogus guardianship case are few. Spike their efforts and make your own preferential declaration regarding a guardian. If “they” determine that you need a guardian, at least you’ve had a say.

You need a Financial Power of Attorney. Designate someone to act for you on financial matters. Do it now, while you are able to put together a portfolio of your assets. Be careful with the language – many banks, insurance companies and title companies will not honor a Power of Attorney unless it is carefully drawn.

A victorious campaign is the result of careful planning. Generals don’t go on the internet to figure out how to build a drone – they hire an expert. So should you. Call us. This is one war that is too important to lose.

Virginia Hammerle is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and an Accredited Estate Planner by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils. She can be contacted at legaltalk@hammerle.com. The information contained in this article is general information only and does not constitute legal advice. ©2013 Virginia Hammerle