Recently Heard’s article entitled “6 Reasons to Choose a Power of Attorney” provides us with several reasons why you want to have one drafted.
- Choose Who Can Make the Decisions on Your Behalf. If you have a signed power of attorney and later you become incapacitated and are unable to make decisions, the agent you named in your POA can step in on your behalf. Without a power of attorney, loved ones will need to go to court to request a conservatorship or guardianship, and that can be expensive.
- Guardianship Not Needed. If you fail to sign a comprehensive power of attorney before you become incapacitated, you and your family have few options.
Someone will have to petition the court to appoint a guardian or a conservator. The judge will decide who will manage your financial and health affairs. The court will also monitor the situation. This can be expensive, and you will have no say regarding who will be chosen to serve.
- Lets You Discuss Your Wishes. An important decision is who your agent will be. When a parent or loved one decides to sign a power of attorney, it offers the chance to discuss the wishes and the expectation with the family and the person who is named as an agent in a power of attorney.
- Comprehensive Power of Attorney is Preferred. When you age, your needs change. Your POA should reflect it.
- Your Intent is Clear. If you become incapacitated, relatives may need to go to court to determine your intent. However, a well-drafted power of attorney provides a healthcare directive, which can eliminate the need for the family members to have arguments or disagree over your wishes.
- Avoid Delays. With a comprehensive power of attorney, all the powers required to do effective asset protection planning are included. Note: if a power of attorney does not include the specific power, it can reduce the ability of the agent and may lead to significant setbacks.
Want to write a power of attorney? Contact a qualified estate planning attorney.
Reference: Recently Heard (Jan. 30, 2020) “6 Reasons to Choose a Power of Attorney”