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Act now to create a durable power of attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document that designates someone to make decisions for you in the event that you become incapacitated. We at Gellner Law Group believe that it is best for you and all adults in Washington to set forth a durable power of attorney as soon as possible. You could become incapacitated any time, at any age, suddenly or gradually, due to an accident or a disease process. By that time, it will be too late. 

What happens if you do become incapacitated or disabled without a durable power of attorney in place? Someone will still need to make decisions for you in regard to financial and medical matters. FindLaw states that if you neglect to designate that person yourself, the court will have no choice but to appoint a guardian to look after these matters for you.

When there is no power of attorney or other documentation available to indicate your wishes, the court will often appoint one of your family members to serve as your guardian. The following are likely court-appointed guardian candidates: 

  • Siblings
  • Parents
  • Adult Children
  • Spouses

A court-appointed guardian has to meet eligibility requirements. He or she must have attained the age of at least 18 because, in order to make decisions for you, your guardian must be a legal adult. A criminal record does not necessarily disqualify a potential guardian, but he or she cannot have any misdemeanor or felony record of charges like bribery or forgery, because that would suggest that he or she has a propensity to be dishonest. 

If necessary, the court will do its best to appoint someone suitable as a guardian, but there is no guarantee that the court will choose someone that you trust. Better to make your wishes known beforehand so there is no ambiguity. More information about powers of attorney is available on our website.

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To speak with an attorney at Gellner Law Group about estate planning, probate, trusts, wills or tax controversy, contact our law office in Kent, Washington, today. You can call 425-336-2908 or send us an email. We provide representation across the entire Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area.

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