Estate planning is critical at every stage of your life. While no one wants to imagine a time when they cannot make decisions for themselves, you should always plan for that risk. Who would you want to take charge of if you cannot make financial or medical decisions?
A power of attorney establishes medical and financial protection for your future.
Financial powers of attorney
The financial power of attorney dictates who will care for your finances if you can no longer vocalize your wishes. The economic power of attorney can prevent untrustworthy relatives from exploiting your condition for personal gain. When you create a financial power of attorney, you choose someone you trust to handle financial decisions. Generally, people choose a close family member, financial advisor, bank, or other fiduciary professional. The representative can have broad authority or you can limit the power he or she has over your finances.
Medical powers of attorney
Your power of attorney can be specific or general. For instance, some people choose agents who handle their finances and medical decisions. Others may choose to have one person for medical choices and another to care for their money. You may want to have a separate document for your health care. When creating a power of attorney, you need to be as detailed as possible for your agent to understand your values and how you expect him or her to handle your care.
To create a power of attorney, you must start early and update your documents regularly.