A power of attorney is a legal document that gives someone else the authority to make decisions on your behalf. It is typically used as part of an estate plan to ensure that someone is able to manage your financial affairs and make medical decisions for you if you become incapacitated.
There are two main types of power of attorney: durable and non-durable. A durable power of attorney remains in effect even if you become incapacitated, while a non-durable power of attorney is automatically revoked if you become incapacitated.
A power of attorney for finances, also known as a “financial power of attorney” or “durable power of attorney for finances,” allows the person you appoint (your “agent” or “attorney-in-fact”) to handle your financial affairs and make decisions on your behalf. This could include paying bills, managing investments, buying or selling property, and more.
A power of attorney for health care, also known as a “health care power of attorney” or “durable power of attorney for health care,” gives the person you appoint the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make them yourself. This could include deciding what treatment to receive, choosing a health care facility, or making end-of-life decisions.
It’s also important to note that you can specify the terms of how the power of attorney works, like duration, circumstance when agent can act and also you can revoke or replace the power of attorney any time you wish when you are still capable.
Having a power of attorney in place as part of your estate plan can provide peace of mind, knowing that someone you trust will be able to manage your affairs if you become incapacitated.
The important thing is that a power of attorney will keep you out of guardianship court if it is well drafted, and if you have taken care to make sure that you don’t just name one person as your agent, you also have contingent agents, people that can step in in the event something happens to your designated agent.
That is so important to keep you and your family out of guardianship court, which can be far, far more expensive than you or your family members ever imagined