Death is a certainty in the life of all Colorado residents, but most individuals don’t like to think about it as something that may happen before they reach old age. The sense that death is something that only afflicts the elderly is a falsity, and young individuals may hurt their wealth if they do not make plans for how such assets will be managed when they are no longer able to do so on their own.

Not long ago Hollywood director John Singleton passed away at the age of 51. While Singleton was hospitalized and in a coma, members of his family were in court, fighting over who should have control over his financial and health care affairs. Had Singleton executed certain estate planning tools, his loved ones may have avoided this confrontation in the days before his death.

Powers of attorney are the estate planning devices that individuals can use to give others the rights to take control of their affairs. When a person becomes incapacitated, such as was the case when Singleton suffered his stroke and was left unresponsive, powers of attorney documents kick in and allow others to make health care decisions, financial choices, and take other action on their behalf.

The failure of an individual to create powers of attorney documents can render them helpless if and when they lose their ability to make decisions for themselves. In such cases, courts may appoint others to take control of the incapacitated individual’s life, and the selected parties may not be who the affected individual wants in charge of their affairs. An estate planning attorney can give an concerned individual more information about how to include powers of attorney in there estate plans.