Getting a plan in place for your continued care should take priority as you age. Since your children are now adults, you no longer have to focus on them and should instead turn your attention to yourself.
An estate plan should include a few documents that address your care. Some of the most common documents involve other people taking control of elements in your life when you no longer can.
What is a power of attorney?
A power of attorney document allows you to choose a person or persons you want to make choices on your behalf. The two main areas in which you may want a power of attorney are financial and medical care.
As you age, you may no longer have the capacity to handle your finances. Instead of forcing your family to go through a court process, a power of attorney allows you to take charge. This document appoints a person or persons you want to take over your assets and debts. The person you designate can use your money, pay bills and sell assets as you would to pay for your continued care.
You may already have a living will that gives doctors and hospitals a guideline for how you want emergency care to continue. A medical power of attorney gives someone else the final say in directing your medical care. For instance, if you do not wish to have life-saving measures implemented should the doctors deem your condition irrecoverable, your medical power of attorney will sign off on this when the time comes.
A power of attorney document becomes active when you can no longer make choices for yourself due to either a medical or mental condition. Once activated, a power of attorney continues until you recover or until you die.