What are the Benefits of Having a Power of Attorney?
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.
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.