Powers of Attorney in Situations of Mental Illness


Carolyn M. Young Fiduciary Services pic

Carolyn M. Young Fiduciary Services
Image: carolynmyoung.com

Focused on the needs of the client, Carolyn M. Young Fiduciary Services provides the elderly and those facing mental incapacity with solutions that include special needs trusts and power of attorney. Responsible for health care and financial decisions, Carolyn M. Young and her team ensure that the wishes of those represented are followed, taking on roles such as executor, guardian, conservator, and administrator.

Beyond elderly loved ones needing end-of-life care, one situation in which power of attorney or guardianship may be sought is when an adult offspring has a mental illness diagnosis.

While the parent may want to exert more control over the son or daughter’s life, the adult offspring retains the right of control over his or her own life unless state guardianship law finds the person incapacitated, or a mental commitment order (typically of short duration) has been issued. Given the variability of mental illnesses over the course of time, long term guardianships are uncommon in such situations.

In cases where the offspring is willing and able to do so, the child does have the option of signing health care power of attorney documents. These name a caregiver or agent who is designated as making health care decisions in situations where he or she is unable to do so. By signing a financial power of attorney, the offspring provides authorization for the agent to look after his or her finances. With these documents revocable, legal assistance is recommended to help navigate the complexities of care when mental health conditions are involved.

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