Power of Attorney Colorado
Pamela D. Wilson of The Care Navigator has served as medical and financial power of attorney in Colorado since 2007. She is a certified guardian and member of the National Guardianship Association. The National Guardianship Association supports nationally recognized Standards of Practice for guardians and fiduciaries acting as power of attorney to ensure that those served by the process are provided with respect, dignity and high standards of care. Continuing education is a requirement of membership in the National Guardianship Association.
Very simply explained, a medical power of attorney in Colorado provides support with medical decisions and medical care. A financial power of attorney in Colorado provides support with financial matters like maintaining bank accounts and bill paying. While many more details exist about the role of both individuals, it is important to have an individual to serve in this role.
Who to appoint? This is the all-important question. If you live in Colorado, it is best to appoint a medical power of attorney in Colorado who will execute your wishes regardless of their own personal biases or opinions. This person may or may not be a family member. In many cases, a professional is appointed for one or both of these roles.
Families today have moved apart—parents may not feel their children will execute their wishes or parents may not feel that children have grown to be responsible persons able to perform the required duties of power of attorney. Family members may decline to serve as power of attorney.
Pamela D. Wilson of The Care Navigator serves as power of attorney in Colorado for those needing immediate support or as power of attorney “in waiting” for individuals completing legal documents who may not need immediate assistance. A power of attorney is able to provide support medically or financially or both to help individuals make appropriate decisions.
All individuals, regardless of age, should have a legal documents for medical and financial power of attorney, a living will, a HIPPA document and a will or trust in the event of a significant life change. If you don’t believe you would benefit from having these legal documents, CLICK HERE to watch a video about David Drummond’s story. David was a young man living in Denver, Colorado who suffered an accident that resulted in significant physical disabilities leading him to decide that prolonging his life by artificial means was not an action he wished to continue. Because he had not initiated legal documents including a living will, doctors at Denver Health questioned whether he had the mental capacity to make the decision to end his life.
If you recall the names of Karen Ann Quinlan, Nancy Beth Cruzan or Theresa Marie Schiavo you may be familiar with cases that appeared in the national news regarding the right to withdraw medical care or the right to die. Unless you want this decision to fall into the hands of others, executing legal documents to appoint a power of attorney including executing a living will – will protect your wishes. These documents are best executed with a person appointed who lives in the state where you live.
A living will in Colorado outlines the medical procedures that you want or do not want if decisions must be made about your care. For example if you were unable to breathe would you want to be put on a breathing machine? If you were unable to swallow would you want a feeding tube inserted into your body to provide liquid nutrition? If you were unconscious, how long would you want to remain on live supporting machines?
While no one likes to think about end of life decisions, executing a living will and discussing your wishes with a medical power of attorney in Colorado will make sure that your wishes are executed. The person you appoint as medical power of attorney is the person to make sure that the wishes identified in your living will are executed.
When health issues arise or multiple diagnoses exist, physicians feel comforted to know that there is a “responsible party” who may be contacted in the event of an emergency or to consult regarding making important medical decisions, for example pursuing surgery that requires significant after care. As in many situations in life it is good to have a back-up plan—“just in case”. This back-up plan includes having a power of attorney able to show up and provide support when needed.
Having a power of attorney in Colorado is even more important in situations where memory loss has been diagnosed—early memory loss, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. It is extremely important to execute these documents while you or the individual diagnosed with memory loss is able to understand the consequences. If these documents are not executed and memory loss progresses, guardianship may be the only next step.
It is best to consult an attorney in Colorado working in the field of elder law to make sure that you understand all aspects of legal planning related to guardianship, power of attorney, living wills, wills, trusts and estate planning. Your attorney will be able to prepare documents and incorporate the name of the person you choose as power of attorney. Consult the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the American Association of Trusts, Estates and Elder Law Attorneys or the Colorado Bar Association to find an elder law attorney in Colorado near you.
For a FREE 15 minute consultation to learn more about The Care Navigator’s power of attorney services, click here.