Legal Guide

Why Designate A Power Of Attorney? Estate Planning Attorneys Explain The Benefits

Designating a power of attorney lays the groundwork for your family in the case of your disability or death. If you are planning to buy a house, designating a power of attorney is also advised as a way to minimize family disputes during the closing process. What happens if you are unable to make decisions about your property? Officials may draw up a court-approved document known as guardianship – but this should only be a last resort because such orders will revoke your right to decide where your assets and cash go. A Power Of Attorney (POA) should be given to someone you trust implicitly because they can act on your behalf in any situation you specified in writing.

How Can Estate Planning Attorneys Assist?

A power of attorney (POA) is a written authorization from you to a trusted individual that gives him/her the legal power to act on your behalf, should you lose the capacity to do so. For most Americans, that’s an all-too-familiar scenario. According to the National Council on Aging, more than two in five people age 85 or older have Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia. As life expectancies increase and dementia becomes more prevalent, will and power of attorney are becoming an essential estate-planning tool for those who want to retain as much independence as possible while preparing for the possibility of a loss of mental competence.

Assets and financial matters

Even if you take all the right steps to protect yourself and your family, there is no guarantee that you won't get into an accident. The average person will get into a car crash once every 10 years. A serious accident could cause severe injuries and even death to one or more members of your family. A power of attorney helps you to protect yourself and your family from financial ruin in the event of an accident.

This person called an attorney, in fact, is appointed by you when you are well and able to do so. It means they can make decisions on your behalf regarding personal finances, but it's not completely without limits.

This can come in handy when you need someone else to take financial actions in your name or protect your assets and financial matters otherwise. A power of attorney will allow you to authorize someone to perform certain tasks, give advice, or even make decisions for you - all legally.

Your health wishes

Your doctor has just given you the worrying news that your heart condition is seriously deteriorating. He tells you that he doubts you’ll be able to make it through the next few weeks, let alone months. As well as informing you of this, your doctor has passed on a power of attorney form so that should anything happen to you, you can ensure that your health care wishes are honored. It’s good that he does this and gives you the chance to make sure everything is in order should the worst happen. In fact, your doctor should always provide a copy of a power of attorney form to all his patients when they have serious medical conditions.

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