Power of Attorney

I was recently involved in a case in which two people lived together one of whom could not manage their own affairs. The disabled person suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and was being cared for by her lifelong companion. The lifelong companion died suddenly and it became necessary to make arrangements to have the Alzheimer’s patient put in a nursing home. Unfortunately, no one had a Power of Attorney to act on behalf of the Alzheimer’s patient. Due to the fact that no nursery home would admit the Alzheimer’s patient because no one had the authority to act on her behalf it became necessary to file an emergency action to appoint a Guardian.

Typically when on files for Guardianship the court sets a hearing three or four weeks out. The Court also orders a Guardian Ad Litem to be appointed. The Guardian Ad Litem is an independent attorney who meets with the person that is going to be controlled by the Guardian. The Guardian Ad Litem then interviews that person and gives a report to the Court as to whether or not the guardianship is warranted. Quite frequently it is apparent that the person needs a guardian and the only the question is who should act as the guardian. On other occasions the person for whom the guardian is being proposed will object to the guardian being appointed.

In the example that I am giving time was of the essence and so a three or four week wait was impractical. Due to the time constraints it became necessary to petition on an emergency basis to have a guardian appointed. Fortunately, on this case, the Judge was very cooperative and appointed a Guardian Ad Litem immediately who interviewed the incapacitated person at the funeral home so that the report could be prepared immediately. Shortly thereafter the Judge signed an emergency order to have the Guardian appointed so that admittance could take place at the Nursing Home.

Had someone had the foresight to have Power of Attorneys executed the expense of having a Guardian appointed could have been avoided. It is imperative that people consult with an attorney and see to it that they have the basic documents prepared and executed in an acceptable fashion so that in the event that they suffer some sort of disability that renders them incapable of handling their own affairs that someone can immediately act on their behalf to see that their best interests are protected.

If you would like a free consultation on how to protect your interests, a friend’s interest, or a relative’s interest contact my office at 248-380-8787