No one likes to think about what would happen to them if rational decision making was no longer possible. An accident or the evil march of time can steal more than our physical mobility. At Bourke Accounting, everyone has a plan to make sure that their wishes are honored in a worst-case scenario (except for me, but I’m still pretty sure that I’m indestructible). While having a will is an important first step, it’s not the only step. Documenting what you want to happen after you’re gone is great, but what if you haven’t quite left the building yet?
Recently, I came across a weird article about the “Free Britney Spears Movement.” I assumed that Ms. Spears was facing arrest after maybe attacking another car with rain gear, but it’s more complicated than that. Beginning in 2007, Spears started to lose the thread – divorce, publicly shaving her head, losing her kids and ending up in rehab/psychiatric hospitals made for a few bad years. Because of her erratic behavior, Spears has been “held under a conservatorship since 2008,” with her father, Jamie Spears, originally appointed as sole conservator (Elle.com). Her father, who petitioned the court, has testified that she is suffering from early onset dementia (Yourtango.com), which, of course, could be a side effect of being sold to the Disney Channel at age 11.
If you don’t know, a conservatorship is a “form of legal guardianship of an adult” (Smartasset.com). These are granted when the courts decide that a person no longer understands what’s going on, can’t take care of basic needs and might harm her/himself or others. While there are a few different types, Spears is under a temporary (yeah, 12 years temporary), financial conservatorship, meaning that it’s meant to last for a specific time period and that she has no control over her estate or financial and personal assets (Businessinsider.com). As she is worth millions, Spears’ fans believe that the fair princess is being held captive by her nefarious and greedy father.
So now, as the stunning result, there are fans brandishing “#FreeBritney” signs outside of courthouses. As the internet is pure logic incarnate, fans are convinced that Spears is begging for help using hidden messages in her social media posts; they are decoding them and many have come to the conclusion that she is being held captive, as well as being trafficked (Yourtango.com). In one TikTok post, Spears twitches in and out of frame, twirls around and looks somewhat unhinged. Seriously, at any time, you expect her to turn into the scary little dead girl from The Ring. I’m sorry, Britney, but the others will have to save you – I’m just not understanding your message.
The Spears Saga is indicative of the importance of future planning. As Spears is experiencing, someone she wouldn’t have chosen has had power over her daily life for years. Don’t think this couldn’t happen to you if you fail to make decisions now (you know how your little brother spends all of his money on Hot Wheels cars? Yeah, he could be making your stock picks). Before the court makes a choice for you, it’s important that you have Power of Attorneys in place. A Medical POA will allow someone to decide how your medical treatment goes; likewise, a Financial POA will give a certain sober someone the authority to handle your cash and assets. And remember, you must be of sound mind to sign a POA, so avoid the rush and plan your future today!
Your life is your own. If you want to be extra-special sure that it stays that way, plan ahead. Not only will this protect your interests, it will ease the burden for your loved ones – no one wants a knock-down drag out in the emergency room.
Bourke Accounting experts can’t protect your from falling anvils, but they can offer you financial guidance. Besides being extraordinarily knowledgeable, Bourke Accounting pros have the sensitivity and time to act as a sounding board. Bourke Accounting specialists won’t make up your mind for you, but they will make all of your decisions a lot clearer.
Written by Sue H.