What is power of attorney?

On Behalf of | Oct 26, 2021 | Estate Planning

Estate planning should include some documents that go into effect before you die. Having a power of attorney may not mean much to you now, but it should.

A power of attorney document grants your legal decision to someone else. There are a few situations where you may need to consider having a person of your choosing fill your shoes. Find out more about what a power of attorney may do for you and your estate planning.

Handling finances

The purpose of a power of attorney is to designate someone to handle your personal affairs should you not have the ability to do so. If you are having surgery, for example, and incapacitated, your power of attorney documents kicks in. This includes appointing someone to deal with the financial issues that may arise. A financial power of attorney allows someone to legally access your money, assets and property. The appointed power of attorney acts as you do, paying bills and selling off holdings as needed to support you.

Making medical decisions

A medical power of attorney allows someone else to make healthcare choices on your behalf. This may occur if you are physically or mentally unable to make sound decisions. A medical power of attorney typically goes along with a living will or other medical directives. The person who gets this responsibility should follow your wishes with regard to end-of-life decisions.

You may want to consider adding one or more power of attorney documents to your estate plan. Doing this may go a long way in protecting you should you need it.