If you should become incapacitated due to a stroke or injuries from a car crash, who will take over and manage your healthcare and day-to-day financial needs?
Having powers of attorney in place provides peace of mind when unanticipated medical and financial situations arise.
Power of attorney for healthcare
An accident or sudden illness can occur at any time. However, you can prepare for the unexpected by creating a power of attorney, or POA, specifically for healthcare. The person you name as your agent can handle medical responsibilities on your behalf if you become incapacitated. This includes making long-term care and end-of-life decisions.
Power of attorney for finances
The POA for finances enables the person of your choice to handle your financial affairs, such as managing your bank accounts, perhaps dealing with your investments and retirement accounts if you are unable to do so. This kind of POA is also helpful for older people who just need additional assistance dealing with everyday responsibilities like bill paying and checkbook balancing.
Selection of agents
Creating powers of attorney takes careful thought. The people you name as your agents should be trustworthy and willing to take on the responsibility of acting in your stead. Not only will they have to make decisions on your behalf, they may also need to interact with attorneys, accountants and others connected with your affairs.
As people age, some form of dementia may play a role in their decision-making activities. Drawing up powers of attorney well in advance is advisable because in order to establish POAs you must be mentally competent. For your own peace of mind, do not wait until it is too late to create these important documents.