We see lots of folks who went to a store, or online, and picked out a generic form of Power of Attorney, or Health Care Power of Attorney, or Advance Directive and then signed them. We also see lots of folks who, knowing that such things are available, want to know why they should pay a lawyer to draft these documents when it appears that there is no “rocket science” to the documents.
While there are plenty of “pat” answers that fit this circumstances like, “you get what you pay for” and “help yourself, we will be here when you have trouble” in an elder law context neither of those answers really work. The reason is simple, most often in the elder law context capacity is diminishing, and needs are immediate. In other words, we may not get a second chance to get anything right.
While it is true that ordinary, garden variety, stationary store forms are perfectly fine for lots of people in lots of circumstances, given the complexities of benefits administration, property disposition, and final arrangements that need to be handled in short order when someone is entering long term care we wholeheartedly recommend that people always take the time to have an experienced Elder Law Attorney handle those simple documents. It is literally the case that a comma, period, clause or sentence could make all the difference in the world.
This article is written by an attorney at Wyatt & Mirabella, PC. Always consult an attorney before making any legal decisions. To make an appointment today for a free consultation, please click here to contact us.