Estate planning is an important way of planning your future and protecting yourself and your loved ones. While there are many different aspects that go into the estate planning process, powers of attorney are among the most important.
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A power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to choose someone who acts on your behalf in the event that you are suddenly incapacitated. There are different types of powers of attorney, but two of the most common are medical power of attorney and financial power of attorney.
The person you designate to serve as power of attorney makes whatever decisions are related to that specific power of attorney document. For example, if you become incapacitated in the future and can no longer make healthcare decisions on your own behalf, the power of attorney will make sure your wishes for your healthcare are carried out. On the same token, your financial power of attorney can pay your bills and debts when you’re unable to do so yourself.
Generally, everyone should aim to have a power of attorney to make sure that your most important wishes are carried out if you’re able to oversee them. Anyone who needs certain actions to be legally carried out should have one. A power of attorney can help if you have to make major decisions, sometimes life-changing, that involve your health and medical care, your children or your finances.
You need a power of attorney to handle your most important matters. Although it’s possible to change your mind about certain things later on, issues mentioned in powers of attorney are the most important in keeping you protected and ensuring that your wishes can be carried out exactly as you want.
1- Deciding on who handles your most important matters: Whether you have a healthcare power of attorney or financial power of attorney, you can choose a trusted person as your agent to ensure that your wishes are carried out the way you have outlined them in your legal documents. You can name a family member, close, trusted friend, or even a professional such as an attorney to serve in the role.
2- Avoids the need for conservatorship: When you have a power of attorney, you don’t have to worry about your needs and wishes being met if you are suddenly rendered incapacitated. There is no need to petition with the court to appoint a person to serve as conservator. Instead, your wishes are carried out as you want because you have already selected an agent and that person knows what your intentions are toward those most important matters.
3- Prevents delays in protecting your assets: With a power of attorney in place, you can protect your assets and prevent the loss of precious money. A financial power of attorney can oversee your finances and ensure that your money goes where you want it to go.
Powers of attorney are among the most essential estate planning documents you should create. You can also include them alongside your will and a revocable trust.