Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint another person (or persons) as your attorney in cases where you are no longer mentally capable of making financial decisions.
Mental incapacity can happen at any time – life takes unexpected twists and turns. By creating a Power of Attorney you are safeguarding yourself if something unfortunate, either temporary or permanent, happens.
A Power of Attorney allows the appointed person to make decisions on your behalf about your finances, real estate, and investments, in times when you are unable to do so. Your Power of Attorney can be prepared one of two ways:
- The person or persons you appoint can act immediately after you sign the document, or
- The person or persons you appoint can only act on your behalf after a state administrator declares you incapable of making your decisions (e.g. you are in a coma)
There are some situations where having a Power of Attorney in place is essential. For example, say a husband and wife were in a car accident. The husband suffered severe head trauma and slipped into a coma. The wife suffered less serious injuries, but still required surgeries and an extended hospital stay. The wife decides to refinance their mortgage or sell the house and downsize to offset the medical costs. The problem is, they jointly own the house, and she cannot make any decisions on his behalf without a signed Power of Attorney from him.
It is important to choose someone to appoint as your attorney who will keep your best interests and wishes top of mind when making decisions. Once chosen, it is also important that you communicate your wishes with them and keep them apprised of your financial affairs if any major changes occur.
If you are ready to designate a Power of Attorney, contact us and we will guide you through the process.