As a person reaches an advanced age, their health may begin to suffer resulting in a number of negative effects. Physical limitations are common with age, but there can be serious mental health issues that could also, sadly, arise. An elderly person who suffers from a mentally incapacitating condition may leave many serious financial responsibilities up in the proverbial air. An aging person worried about such a terrible scenario happening to them will find awarding durable power of attorney to be a viable option. Selecting someone to receive power of attorney, however, may require serious thought. To be more likely to get the best results, work with a family law attorney to draw up a durable power of attorney contract and discuss the best person to be given power of attorney.

Durable Power of Attorney Defined

Durable power of attorney is a legal contract in which one person transfers the power to make decisions about medical and financial matters when someone is incapacitated to someone else. Simply selecting the eldest relative or one who happens to live nearby could be a foolish decision. The person to whom durable power of attorney is bestowed must be able to make very important and serious decisions. The individual must have trustworthy and sound judgment.

When working with an attorney, a client is able to consider various factors:

Proper Education and Experience

Turning over financial matters to someone who lacks a formal education and a basic understanding of financial matters may very well set the stage for a disaster. A person entrusted to manage finances on behalf of another should have already proven his/her ability to reasonably manage an investment portfolio and business endeavors. Such a person is going to be more inclined to make good decisions.

The Current Debt Status

Debt causes people to do drastic things. The weight of heavy credit card balances and high interest payments leads a person's labor to be — as the saying goes — owned by the banks. Who would want the bank's influence to extend to the management of finances? Additionally, a person who is in severe debt reveals a character flaw — a lack of fiscal prudence and responsibility. An attorney could perform a credit check and other investigations to determine whether or not the person is in a reasonable fiscal position for the job.

A Safe Profession

Selecting a person whose profession puts his or her health and well-being at risk might be problematic. If the person with durable power of attorney becomes incapacitated, serious matters arise, so there should be a backup plan if the at-risk individual must be selected.

Eventually, the right planning with a family law attorney helps all members of the family deal with a crisis situation most effectively. For more information, contact local professionals like Reagan, Melton, & Delaney LLP.