Power of Attorney and What it Means to you
When you execute a Power of Attorney and name another individual as your agent, they can act on your behalf for legal and financial matters. This is most commonly used in a situation where an accident or illness prevents you from handling those matters on your own. A Power of Attorney is usually given to a spouse, child or trusted individual. This power is given in the form of a legal document detailing the extent of which this person may act on your behalf. For instance, you may want this person to take on your financial decisions, but not medical.
What should be included in the Power of Attorney document?
It is best to have an attorney assist you in creating a Power of Attorney document, but you should be prepared to include:
● The name and relation of person that should act in your behalf.
● What kind of decisions the individual will be able to make for you.
● Situations in which the Power of Attorney document is activated.
To be sure that the document will stand in the case that you become injured or mentally incapacitated, it is essential that you include language stating that you wish for the document to remain in effect in these cases. This is a called a Durable Power of Attorney.
It is also important to note that the individual with Power of Attorney is acting on your behalf, so you could be legally implicated if this person does not act in good faith. Please be sure that the person you choose can be trusted to act in your best interest.
When do I need a Power of Attorney document?
Granting an individual to be your Power of Attorney should be part of your estate planning process. This important document should be created while you are of sound mind and in good health. Without it, your loved ones may have to get a court order to take care of your finances or talk to your insurance company should be become incapacitated. This could cost money and time when both are of the essence.
Married individuals often believe that a Power of Attorney is not necessary in their case because most of their assets are jointly owned; however, some of the most important at a time like this, such as insurance policies, are typically owned by individuals and cannot be accessed by a spouse unless they are granted Power of Attorney.
The attorneys at Wilson Law, P.A. have years of experience in creating important estate planning documents such as a Power of Attorney. Preparation is key and even though it’s difficult to think about situations where others need to act on your behalf, your family will be grateful to have the necessary documents in place. Contact us for a FREE consultation in one of our practice areas today.