DEAR ABBY: I am writing this letter to suggest that your readers think about giving a power of attorney to a trusted relative to be used in case of emergency. This is especially important for single adults.
The cost of having this document prepared is relatively inexpensive compared to what you will pay if someone must petition for guardianship.
I speak from experience. My father suffered a major stroke that left him totally incapacitated. Legally I could not even stop his mail without a power of attorney, let alone access his checking account to pay his bills, cancel his apartment lease or admit him to a nursing home.
I was forced to initiate guardianship proceedings that were costly, stressful and time-consuming. The cost for our simple uncontested guardianship was $3,000. -- SUSAN
DEAR SUSAN: Good advice. None of us knows when an emergency may arise when we will need the help of someone to take care of our financial affairs until such time as we can resume responsibility. NOTE: Powers of attorney are not necessarily permanent. They can be revoked any time you wish.