When you get older, you find yourself facing realities in your present that you always felt you would face further down the line. Whether they are the physical changes that your body goes through as you get older or the mental ones, you need to remain cognizant of how these changes can affect the rest of your life.
This means planning ahead, and for many, that can be a struggle. No one wants to admit that when you get older, you can find yourself losing certain abilities, but in order to make sure that your wishes are known, you need a plan in place.
This requires the assistance of an elder law attorney who focuses on estate planning and making sure that in the case of any type of emergency, your wishes are known. They can assist you in coming up with a feasible plan that protects your life’s work, while providing a method to pay for necessities like long-term care.
Having a plan in place does not end with establishing a will or trust. It requires giving someone the authority to make medical and financial decisions on your behalf, if you become incapacitated. It requires a Power of Attorney.
Understanding a Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney document is a written authorization that allows you, as the named principal, to formally appoint a trusted individual to make decisions and take actions on your behalf. Whomever you name will be able to represent your best interests, whether that is on temporary or permanent basis.
This document designates the person you select as your agent, or “attorney-in-fact” within the scope of the agreement. They are expected to make informed, good-faith decisions regarding issues like business transactions, insurance policies, health care options, tax returns, or other legal, health, or financial matters.
Scopes and types
You get to decide the scope of the power of your agent. You get to decide whether their power is relegated to one particular issue or encompasses a wide range of areas. You also have the option of designating one person for financial issues and one person for health care-related ones. This is known as a Limited Power of Attorney.
Another popular alternative is the Durable Power of Attorney, which goes beyond a traditional one. It seamlessly remains in effect if you become physically or mentally incapacitated.
The uncertainty of the future means that emergencies can arise at any time. In order to have your wishes known and to ensure that someone you trust will make decisions on your behalf when you are physically or mentally incapacitated, you need a Power of Attorney in place. Otherwise, your estate plan is incomplete.
Protecting your estate
You have spent your life working and building financial assets for yourself and your family, and you cannot afford to put these assets in jeopardy with an incomplete estate plan. You need to make your wishes known and have the hard conversations regarding the future with those that you plan on giving authority to, as well as those you name as beneficiaries.
Part of planning for your future means making sure that those you leave behind all are on the same page, regarding authority and your wishes. Having a Power of Attorney in place is a definitive way of establishing who is in charge of what and letting everyone know what their role is and to what extent.
The experienced elder law attorneys at TuckerAllen are ready to help you with your needs regarding Power of Attorneys, estate plans, trusts, wills, Medicaid planning, long-term care options and so much more. Their focus is on making your wishes apparent, and by drafting a Power of Attorney document, you can rest easy knowing that your future is secure.