A power of attorney (POA) is the legal authority for one person to act for another in financial, medical, or other matters. Essentially, it empowers you by preserving your wishes and ensuring that your words are heard when you can no longer speak for yourself.
If you’re ever temporarily or permanently incapacitated, who would you want to make decisions for you?
By partnering with an elder law attorney and creating your POA, you’re able to lay out what you want, don’t want, and who you trust to speak on your behalf, as well as who will carry out your wishes.
Here are 3 ways a power of attorney can empower you.
Healthcare decisions like medication, treatment, and who provides care are all elements that can be included in your power of attorney. End-of-life decisions can also be included. Do you have a specific way that you want pain medications handled?
Your financial power of attorney will lay out how you want your money handled. Do you have assets that need to be managed? Gifts? Your financial POA will include any of your wishes regarding your finances.
Your expectations for how you want your healthcare or finances handled may not be what your loved ones had in mind. By having a conversation with them and also including in your power of attorney what you don’t want, a difficult decision can be made less confusing.
Do you have one family member who is particularly good with numbers? Maybe that’s the person who should be in charge of your financial POA. Who do you trust most with end-of-life decisions? Who will make sure that your wishes are carried out the way you planned? A power of attorney allows you to legally choose who will have the honor of speaking on your behalf.
YES! It’s beneficial to have a power of attorney as soon as the age of 18 – when you no longer have parents or guardians as legal decision-makers.
Consider partnering with an elder law attorney to decide the best choices and what to include in your personal legal documents. You can start by visiting these Senior Resources:
Originally published November 04, 2022