Q: My husband and I are in our 80s, but we don’t feel like it. We still hike, bike, swim and travel and have no plans to slow down. A friend from our ski club, who’s 10 years younger than us, just gave his daughter power of attorney, something we’ve never even thought about. We don’t even have a will. Are those things we need? We haven’t had any major health problems and many of our relatives have lived until over 100.
Ask an expert: Sally Wagley
Elder law attorney, Levey, Wagley & Putman
A: The answer is always yes. Everybody is facing death at some time. That’s why it’s good to have a will – so you have control of what happens after you die. With respect to the financial power of attorney, its purpose is to is to enable someone to handle your finances when you become incapacitated. It is important to pick someone you trust. Typically clients choose a spouse, adult child, another family member or a friend. You must do this before you decline mentally, so that you can still understand what you are signing. Otherwise the document will be invalid. You should also have a health care power of attorney, so that a responsible person can make health care decisions for you if you become incapacitated.
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