You have probably heard the term “Power of Attorney,” but may not realize what an important document it is to have for life planning. Sometimes life happens in ways that we are unprepared for, such as becoming unable to care for ourselves due to an unexpected disability. Instead of just letting “life happen” and dealing with the fall out, we should take steps to plan for those unexpected events. Hopefully they won’t happen, but if they do, you’ll be ready.
If you don’t proactively plan for a potential disability, and you become incapacitated or are unable to make decisions for yourself, your family may be forced to seek a guardianship over you. This involves a legal proceeding that is costly, time consuming and very emotional for you and your family. However, if you have the proper Powers of Attorney prepared in advance, your family could completely avoid such an emotionally and financially draining ordeal.
There are two main types of Powers of Attorney that everyone needs prepared: 1) the Durable Power of Attorney, and 2) the Medical Power of Attorney. The Durable Power of Attorney gives your agent, or the person you appoint, the right to handle your financial affairs. The Medical Power of Attorney gives your agent the right to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself. (This may or may not include end of life decisions that are more properly decided through a Directive to Physicians.)
Powers of Attorney are a very inexpensive and simple way to help provide security for you and your love ones when an unexpected life event happens. If you would like to provide that security for your family or discuss these documents in more detail with an attorney, please contact us.