What should you know about powers of attorney?

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Powers of attorney are legal instruments that grant someone the authority to act on your behalf in specific matters. These documents are essential for planning and managing affairs if you become incapacitated. 

Choosing a trusted individual as your agent is crucial because this person will have the power to make decisions that could have long-lasting impacts on your life and assets. 

Medical power of attorney 

A medical power of attorney gives the person you chose the ability to make healthcare decisions for you. This may include decisions about medical treatments, surgeries and other health care services. You can outline your wishes in an advanced directive, but a power of attorney makes any decisions that aren’t clearly stated in that document. 

Financial power of attorney 

A financial power of attorney enables someone to handle your financial affairs if you become incapacitated. This authorization allows them to take on responsibilities such as paying bills, managing investments, and handling other transactions. The extent of the authority can be customized to fit your needs and preferences, ranging from limited tasks to complete control over all financial matters. 

Remember, the power of attorney is only one small part of a comprehensive estate plan. These powers become void when you pass away because the duties will move to the person you name as the administrator of your estate. 

Ensuring you have everything in order now gives your loved ones a firm plan if something happens to you. It also gives you peace of mind because you’ll know that your wishes are clearly stated for them to follow.