Anyone who has read a medical waiver or chosen a health insurance plan understands that decisions are not as easy as 1-2-3. There are immeasurable nuances and variables in health care from timing to side effects and cost.
While residents of Michigan might have a baseline understanding of what a power of attorney is, there still can be a degree of confusion. It can be helpful to have a clear understanding of power of attorney in order to make informed decisions should a situation call for it and to avoid any abuse of power that can unfortunately occur.
Powers of attorney are intended to provide a legal way for Michigan residents to manage their own affairs and make their own decisions even when they are physically or mentally unable to take action or convey their wishes. One very important type of power of attorney is a medical power of attorney. This kind of power of attorney relates to certain "life-or-death" medical decisions and end-of-life care. Since a power of attorney is a legal document, it is binding if it is created correctly. It is important for people think and plan carefully regarding who they choose as their agent and to discuss their wishes with that person.
Any of our Oakland County readers who are familiar with some of our most recent posts have seen the discussion of some of the most important aspects of a solid, comprehensive estate plan. Of course, it is probably obvious that the first estate planning document to be discussed is a will, since this particular instrument can spell out many of the most important wishes to be carried out, from asset distribution to funeral arrangements. And, for those who may be interested, previous posts have discussed the many uses of trusts, and how they can be especially effective in addressing several areas concerning the transition of assets. However, there are other documents that should not be overlooked for the importance - powers of attorney.
Michigan residents love cars, especially in the Detroit area. That is why many people were saddened by the death of Carroll Shelby on May 10. Shelby was responsible for some of the most iconic American muscle car designs and engines, and the Ford Mustang Shelby remains one of the most venerated cars to ever come out of Detroit. Shelby died at the age of 89 in Dallas, and unfortunately his body remains there at the medical examiner's office while his family members dispute over how his burial will proceed.
Previously on this blog, we discussed recent headway in Alzheimer's research that could result in improved medical treatment. And since the percentage of people in Michigan who are 65 or older is greater than the national average, many readers in the Detroit area who are doing estate planning may be interested in a more recent report by the Alzheimer's Association.
Readers in the Detroit area were likely saddened to hear of the death of Etta James, the R&B icon with the powerful and husky voice who sang such hits as "At Last" and "Tell Mama." James passed away recently at the age of 72. Sadly, in her later years, she suffered from a number of health problems, including leukemia and dementia, and the final year of her life saw much controversy over matters of estate planning. Oakland County residents may take interest in the dispute over the care of James' estate, as many families in Michigan often face similar issues.