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What are the Benefits of Having a Power of Attorney?

Updated on October 12, 2011

Many people don't think about the need for a power of attorney until they absolutely have to. Others do like to plan ahead financially in every way, or see others that have had a use for power of attorney and make plans for their futures in this way. Its not a pleasant thing to always consider, but its smart and responsible thinking to go ahead and do what you can if you or a loved one should ever need such help in your personal life.

A power of attorney is a document that gives another person the authority to act legally on your behalf should you ever not be able to do so. There comes times in life where you or a loved one may be unable to take care of complicated affairs and make the best decisions.

A medical power of attorney is similar in that it appoints a person to make decisions regarding your medical care.

Whoever you name to be the one in your power of attorney will be legally acting on your behalf and is called the agent or attorney-in-fact. The agent doesn't need to be a lawyer or anything like that, as some people have wondered based on the name. It can be any person that you trust like a spouse, relative, child and a dear friend even. Its putting your welfare into the hands of those that know you best and that you trust the most, as opposed to letting those decisions fall elsewhere. This can bring great peace of mind to people, something they can rest in should they be unable to make some perhaps difficult decisions.

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What can an agent do when having power of attorney?

Your agent, or your loved one in this case, can handle some financial things like writing your checks for you. They can invest savings and other things should you not be able to. They can buy and sell property if need be and even enter into contracts on your behalf.

Something to remember is that a power of attorney goes into effect when you are no longer able to do the things that a power of attorney would be doing for you, and you can no longer handle the matters on your own. 

A power of attorney is similar to a living will in that it is a safeguard for you and your family. This is an area where you want to do your research, as there are differing kinds of power of attorney out there. Many consult a lawyer before drafting up a power of attorney.

It's a good thing to confront those issues that will be coming toward the latter parts of our lives. There is no need to put it off, but its good to confront those things head on. You may surprise yourself and others and outlive those you may have made an agent for your power of attorney! Being realistic is a wise and loving thing to do for our families though, as they will be left to deal with all those matters when we are unable to help them. Many families have benefited from getting a power of attorney, and it prevented a lot of stress and helped to allow for more peace of mind as a result.

Has your family ever benefited from using a power of attorney when it was needed?

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    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR

      Paula 

      7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Thank you Donace for your comment and suggestion. I would agree with you that we need to look out for them. Dementia can be a tough thing, and is all to common it seems anymore with so many people.

    • profile image

      Donace 

      7 years ago

      I think especially if your parents or yourself are diagnosed or at a risk of dementia especially it is vital you get a Lasting Power of Attorney made as it would prevent from your family acting in an illegal manner if they "help" you without this.

      I have written a brief outline here: https://hubpages.com/education/Lasting-Power-of-At... that may be of help

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR

      Paula 

      7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Thank you Mr. Trust, and PhoenixV. I really appreciate your comments.

    • PhoenixV profile image

      PhoenixV 

      7 years ago from USA

      Great work!

    • MrTrustStore profile image

      Randall Kaiden 

      7 years ago from Oxnard & Santa Clarita, CA

      Very important subject and great hub! Nice work!

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR

      Paula 

      7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Glenn, thanks for your comment! I am so sorry to hear about the experience your Aunt had to go through. That is really unfortunate. I appreciate you stopping by and the voting up!

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 

      7 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Sometimes attorneys don't do the right thing to protect someone. My elderly Aunt had a POW written for me to take care of her financial affairs. But when an aide who we fired had sued her, I couldn't fight the case in court be because the POA did not include litigation rights. I had to have her make another one just for that.

      I'm including a link to your hub in one I wrote about the lawsuit because you explain the need for POA so well. Your hub is very useful and I voted it up. Thanks.

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