• Donna Sooter

Why Every Adult Should Have an Updated Power of Attorney

I’ve written my newsletter almost entirely on business matters that are near and dear to me. I’m known for using myself as an e

xample because I believe it makes the information I’m giving more relatable. I’ve been very silent this year allowing my team to produce content because of a personal family emergency. I have an awesome team and I’m so grateful to have them here with me.


Let me talk frankly about a subject that is hard and often delayed because of it’s unpleasantness. Let’s talk about legal paperwork everyone should have on file – not only for their business but their personal lives.


It has become so evident to me how much each adult should have an updated Power of Attorney. This document allows someone you appoint to make a decision on your behalf when you are physically or cognitively not able to do so. Why is this so important? - Glad you asked.


My brother had a massive cardiac arrest event in February. He did all the proper things that needed to be done in 2009 and didn’t look at them again. However, in 2016, he had a major life change – divorce. The divorce made his 2009 Power of Attorney null and void. He did not have an alternative and it has left the family in a free fall as we’ve tried to navigate his care and needs for the last 3 months.


My brother was unemployed due to the pandemic. He, like many Californians, was struggling to receive his unemployment due to fraud. I was aware that his bank accounts were getting low. I knew I needed to try to change his status from unemployed to disabled. This is a crucial step in getting disability funding. There have been roadblocks with each step I’ve taken.


The pandemic has changed the way hospitals operate. Even as the country is reopening, there is limited access to hospitals. Which means even in his lucid moments, I cannot get a notary in to have him appoint someone of his choosing.


As uncomfortable as it is to think about, I ask you to think about it. Who do you have appointed to make decisions for you? Who is going to make sure your mortgage/rent is paid so you have a place to come back too? Who will make sure you have your best interest looked after? This document is not something that takes away your power, but rather gives you power – the power of choice.


I’ll have more in my next newsletter on the different types of power of attorneys. For now, I just ask that you either look at the one you have and see if it’s updated. If you don’t have one, start considering who you would want to make a decision. After all, for most of you – it’s not just about our personal lives… It's also about our businesses. It’s about our clients – who’s in charge if you are not. Who’s looking after the best interest of your business?