Spouses should have reciprocal powers of attorney

Spouses or couples living together should seriously consider having reciprocal powers of attorney prepared.

These would come into effect if one of the spouses or partners is incapacitated and unable to make personal decisions. This situation can arise in many ways, but one of the most common in older couples is that one spouse is stricken with Alzheimer’s disease and loses mental capacity. A power of attorney in this situation would allow the other spouse to assume responsibility for the financial affairs of the family as well as for the personal care of the affected person.