A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that grants an individual (the agent or attorney-in-fact) the authority to make decisions and act on behalf of another person in various legal, financial, or healthcare matters. The extent of the agent’s powers can vary depending on the type of POA, such as financial, healthcare, or general. A POA is often used when the person becomes unable to make his or her own decisions due to incapacity or other reasons, and it can be a crucial tool for managing their affairs and ensuring their wishes are carried out after death. Your loved one needs a POA for various reasons.
They May Need to Make Hard Health Care Choices
Your loved one needs to appoint someone they trust with their life, someone who will listen to them, to become their power of attorney. Why? Because eventually, they will have to make hard healthcare choices if their loved one ever can’t. Your loved one may not want to be resuscitated, or they may not want to accept certain treatments. Hopefully, your senior loved one will talk to their POA about these health and wellness choices before the POA makes a hard decision without a senior’s input.
POA May Need to Make Financial Decisions
Your loved one may want to remain as independent as possible, which is doable for the most part. However, your senior may need help with finances. They may need help paying bills, acquiring money, and anything else that allows them to age in place for as long as possible. If they are struggling to do these basic things to stay in the house they love, they will need to appoint a power of attorney to help them before they get into any legal trouble.
Helps Prevent Abuse
You have heard the horror stories of seniors getting abused. Either financially or in other ways. This can be avoided if your loved one chooses someone to help them financially. This means they are not accepting outside help from someone who could mean them harm. Minimizing abuse wherever possible is crucial, and finding the right power of attorney is a good start.
Helps with Incapacity Planning
A POA allows seniors to designate someone they trust to manage their affairs if they become unable to do so due to physical or mental incapacity, ensuring their financial, legal, and healthcare matters are properly handled. It is one of the most important aspects of having a POA. Nothing is left to chance, and everyone will be on the same page about what a senior wants, why they want it, and ensure their wishes are carried out in whatever way possible.
A power of attorney is a legal tool that all seniors need to think about eventually. Whether you are planning to age in place or a nursing home, you will want to consider who best in your life could handle this serious position. You will not want any decisions to be left up to chance. It’s important to start planning now.