A power of attorney is an important component of any estate plan. It’s particularly important for senior citizens. Power of attorney documents allow another person to act in your stead. The most common types of PoA are for financial and health care decisions. With a PoA, if you’re injured or otherwise incapacitated, there’s a plan in place. Empowering someone you trust to make decisions for you can give peace of mind to both you and your family.
Who can have a power of attorney?
A power of attorney should be a part of every conversation about estate planning. A competent adult over the age of 18 can act as an agent for someone else. You should choose the person you want to be your agent carefully. You can select a professional, such as a lawyer or an accountant. You can also elect a family member or friend whose judgement you trust.
What powers does it provide?
In health care, someone with a power of attorney will help decide on things like treatment plans. If you were unconscious, your agent would discuss your condition with medical professionals and decide on a treatment plan. The appointed agent would also be responsible for deciding where you would recuperate.
In finance, power of attorney documents allow the agent to do things like pay bills. They may also be able to apply for benefits on your behalf. They cannot, however, transfer their authority to another person. They also can’t make changes to other documents like wills.
Having an estate plan in place is very important for every adult. Even if you don’t own many assets, it’s still important to put some infrastructure in place. Setting up power of attorney documents can help your loved ones care for you more effectively.