NEWSLETTER AUGUST 2021
IT'S WORTH REPEATING
Last month a gentleman came into my office wanting a general durable power of attorney and a healthcare durable power of attorney for his wife who was already in a long-term care facility. While he gave me the necessary information for me to draft the documentation, I explained to him that I would have to come to the facility to review it with her and make sure she could comprehend it. He kept saying that she could sign her signature but I explained to him that had nothing to do with comprehension. So we agreed upon a time and date when he thought she would be the most alert.
It didn’t take 30 seconds for me to realize she had no idea what was going on. Her Alzheimer’s disease was far more advanced than what her husband had let on. She couldn’t answer any of the questions I usually ask in a situation such as this to make sure that the client understands what is about to transpire. But he kept saying that she could sign her signature. Needless to say, the husband became very upset when I told him that she was incapable of comprehending the documentation and that he would have to go to court to file for a guardianship and conservatorship for her. That he had waited too long.
For calendar year 2020 I filed 13 petitions for guardianships and/or conservatorships in Sedgwick County District Court alone. Every case could have been avoided had the parties had in place their durable powers of attorney which I think of as an ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure documentation. Have them in place to avoid going to court should a loved one become incapacitated or disabled. Attorneys make a lot more money filing these cases than drafting durable powers of attorney.
I still do some criminal defense representation for I enjoy conducting jury trials. To be a good criminal defense practitioner, I am trilingual in that I am proficient in English, BS and profanity. But the vast majority of my practice focuses on three other languages which are death, disease and disability. You need to be prepared to take them head-on and general durable powers of attorney is one way to do so. PROTECT YOURSELF!
“Do not regret growing older. It’s a privilege denied to many.”
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