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4 reasons why you should have a power of attorney

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2024 | Estate Administration |

When making your estate plan, designating someone with power of attorney authority is a crucial decision that can result in numerous benefits.

Imagine a scenario where you become incapacitated due to illness or injury, rendering you unable to make important financial, legal or healthcare decisions on your own. In such a situation, having someone designated with power of attorney authority becomes essential. The following are four reasons why you should have a power of attorney designated in your estate plan.

Your financial affairs will be actively managed

When you designate someone as your power of attorney, you can better ensure that your financial affairs are taken care of in the event of your incapacity. This person, known as the agent or attorney-in-fact, will have the authority to manage your financial transactions, pay bills, access bank accounts and make investment decisions on your behalf.

You may avoid the need for guardianship or conservatorship

If you become incapacitated and haven’t designated someone with power of attorney authority, your loved ones may need to go through the legal process of obtaining guardianship or conservatorship to manage your affairs. This process can be time-consuming, expensive, and may not align with your preferences. By having a power of attorney in place, you can avoid the need for court intervention and better ensure that someone you trust is readily available to act on your behalf.

You will be prepared for emergencies

With a designated power of attorney, you will be better prepared for unexpected emergencies. Having a trusted individual with power of attorney can provide a quick and efficient way to address legal, financial and healthcare matters without delay. This helps to ensure that your interests are protected and that decisions are made in accordance with your wishes, even if you are unable to communicate them.

Legal matters can be addressed promptly

A power of attorney can also empower someone to handle legal matters on your behalf. This includes signing legal documents, entering into contracts and representing you in legal proceedings. Without a power of attorney, your family may encounter delays and difficulties in addressing legal matters that require your attention, potentially causing complications and added stress.

By appointing someone with this authority, you take proactive steps to protect your interests and work to ensure a smoother process for your loved ones during challenging times. Regularly reviewing and updating your power of attorney as needed is also essential to reflect any changes in your circumstances or relationships.