A Power of Attorney allows you to choose someone to have the power to act in your place. You can sign a Power of Attorney that is effective immediately or one that authorizes action only after certain incidents occur (such as incapacity). The most common Powers of Attorney include giving power to someone to make decisions for you regarding your health care or your finances. Here are three reasons why Powers of Attorney are an important part of every estate plan:
3 Reasons Why Powers of Attorney Are An Important Part of Every Estate Plan
1. Having a validly executed Power of Attorney can sometimes avoid the necessity of your family members seeking guardianship over you in order to care for you when you have become incompetent. A guardianship is typically more time consuming and more expensive than execution of a Power of Attorney. Additionally, a guardianship would be subject to court oversight in the county courts, whereas a Power of Attorney can be administered privately.
2. You get the opportunity to choose the person or persons who will make decisions for you. This is especially helpful during times when you are potentially unable to make decisions for yourself – a time when you are arguably at your most vulnerable. By executing a Power of Attorney you have the ability to say now who will step in for you in your time of need.
3. Your affairs continue to be taken care of, no matter your state of being. Bills get paid, investments, are managed, hospital treatments are secured. Your Power of Attorney allows your agent to minimize interruption in your life, so when you are ready and able, you can get back to business as usual.
This article should not be construed as legal advice. Situations are different and it’s impossible to provide legal advice for every situation without knowing the individual facts.