What does it mean to name someone your Power of Attorney? What control do I still have? Do I have to do it? At what age is it most appropriate? The list goes on of questions someone can have if they don’t really understand what they are getting into. If you’ve started throwing around the term “Power of Attorney” it is time to do some research and make sure you know what you’re getting into.
What Is It?
A power of attorney is someone, chosen by you, that is there to help you make decisions. A POA is there to act on your behalf, but they only have as much responsibility or say, as you give them. They could only have a say if a certain event happens, if you become incompetent, or if you’re just preparing for unexpected illness.
When Do You Create One?
- You want to authorize someone to handle your medical and financial affairs in the event that you are absent or away from home.
- You want to authorize someone to handle your medical and financial affairs in the event that you are mentally incapacitated.
- You want to authorize someone to act on your behalf in another specific situation
- You want to authorize someone in case of sudden illness or becoming incompetent
- You want to be precautious
Who Can Be One?
You get to choose who your power of attorney is, you don’t have to choose a lawyer or doctor or any other professional. It can be a trusted friend, a family member, a neighbor, anyone that you feel most comfortable with, as long as they are over 18 years of age. You have a say in who will be helping you make your decisions and how much responsibility to have. Once chosen who you would like, it would always help to meet with a lawyer first and making sure all things are in order.
Creating a Power of Attorney doesn’t have to be scary, and it can definitely help, but it isn’t always necessary. Be aware of your options and choose wisely and live happily.