Driving — Is It In Your Power of Attorney?

A terrific story on NPR this morning addressed seniors and driving. One suggestion: consider signing a power of attorney giving someone the authority to tell you when you need to stop driving.

At Fleming & Curti, PLC, we have been doing that for clients routinely for about a decade. If we drafted your health care power of attorney, there is a pretty high likelihood that you have given your agent the authority to tell you it’s time, and to take away the keys (and even the car). Of course, you could revoke that power when the time actually comes; we share Dr. Marian Betz’s hope that you will listen to your agent when your driving ability is impaired, and remember that you trusted them to make the decision when you signed the power of attorney.

Why in your health care power of attorney, rather than your general durable (financial) power of attorney? We think that the need to stop driving is more related to talking with your doctor and making placement and medical decisions than it is to handling your bank account and investments. We can also have you sign a completely separate document dealing only with driving ability if that makes sense in your circumstances.

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