Can I make powers of attorney for my mentally and physically disabled son?

Question:

I have a mentally and physically disabled son who will turn 18 soon. Must I establish a conservatorship to make medical and financial decisions for him -- or can I use durable powers of attorney to do this?

Answer:

The basic requirements for making a durable power of attorney -- whether for health care or finances -- are that the individual making the document must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. If your son's mental disabilities prevent him from fully understanding what the documents mean -- and therefore from consenting to their making -- you will have to go to the probate court and ask to be named conservator.

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