Legally speaking: What is power of attorney, and when do we need it?

By B. Scott Skillman

Continuing my series on routine planning to assist family and friends in the event of incapacity or death, this month’s article focuses on the creation and use of a “power of attorney.”

People often assume that the phrase power of attorney has something to do with a lawyer. The term “attorney” often involves lawyers, but it actually applies to persons authorized to act on behalf of another. 

So, for our purposes here today, keep in mind that lawyers need not be involved at all. Which is not to say they should not be involved, but only that it is not required.

Read More

Legally speaking: Let’s discuss simple steps to plan for estate administration

By B. Scott Skillman

Preparing for last wishes and estate administration is a topic relevant to us all and one most of us tend to delay or avoid confronting. Over the next several months (with the approval of the UHC board), I intend to present a series of articles about things we all can do — no matter what age or phase of life — to assist our families in the event of our incapacity or passing.

There are simple steps we can all take to help our families should we be unable to make decisions about our care or final arrangements. We need not fear these steps or hesitate to take them.

Although these moves ultimately deal with our passing, they are essential life choices. These choices convey our thoughts about how we wish to handle difficult decisions and take the stress of such decisions away from our families or life partners who otherwise might be forced to confront them due to a lack of clear communication on our part.

Read More