An interesting exchange on a listserv for bankruptcy attorneys caught my attention. As we live in a world where it appears various forms of cognitive impairment impact people at ever earlier ages, you may want to dust off your durable power of attorney and read it. Most standard form durable powers of attorney do not contain language which would specifically permit your POA to file bankruptcy on your behalf. We all hope that would never occur, but planning for the worst while hoping for the best prevents many problems before they occur.
If you do not have a durable power of attorney, you may want to contact an attorney about drafting one. If you do not possess a will, a living will, or an advance directive, then you definitely need to see an attorney. If you have minor children and do not have these documents, run, don’t walk to an attorney. It is a gift to those who may survive you and to your children as it heads off the potential for highly emotional battles among those whom you love and who loved you.