Powers of Attorney are some of the most universally beneficial estate planning resources. People can use these valuable opportunities to name someone they trust to engage in certain actions on their behalf after some kind of personal emergency.
There are many situations in which a person could end up incapacitated and unable to manage their own affairs. For example, they might end up rendered unconscious because of a car crash or an accident at a grocery store where they fall and hit their head. It could also be a medical incident, like a stroke, that leads to someone’s incapacitation. Powers of attorney are one of the best protections in the event of such emergencies.
Who should add powers of attorney to their estate plans?
Many people will recommend that anyone over the age of 18 who has not yet married should put together powers of attorney and advance medical directives. When young adults become legal adults, their parents no longer have the authority to access their medical records or make choices on their behalf at a hospital in an emergency. Therefore, putting together powers of attorney can be a very smart step for young adults who never know what the future may hold. Powers of attorney are also important for unmarried individuals because they can designate financial authority to someone that they trust to manage their assets, pay their rent and otherwise maintain their life during their incapacitation.
Business owners and homeowners
Those who have invested in real property or who run a business would have a lot to lose if they became incapacitated and were unable to take care of their assets properly. Powers of attorney can give someone else the authority to manage business matters or pay someone’s mortgage and taxes on real property.
Those with children and other dependents
Although it is rare, there are scenarios in which people who provide for others experience incapacitation that will leave them unable to meet the needs of others. Powers of attorney help someone ensure that there will be a trusted individual to help manage their household and otherwise meet the needs of their dependents.
Those preparing for retirement, as well as those recently diagnosed with a serious medical condition, may want to integrate powers of attorney into their estate plans. Durable powers of attorney put in place before someone experiences a permanent loss of capacity due to age or illness can allow them to name someone to handle their affairs instead of leaving them at the mercy of whoever requests guardianship.
Seeking legal guidance and integrating thoughtful resources into an estate plan can help to maximize someone’s protection during their life, no matter what happens to them.