Recently Heard’s article entitled “6 Reasons to Choose a Power of Attorney” provides us with several reasons why you want to have one drafted.
- You Choose Who Can Make the Decisions on Your Behalf. If you have a signed a power of attorney and you later become incapacitated and are unable to make decisions, the agent you named in your POA can step in on your behalf. Without a POA, loved ones will need to go to court to request a conservatorship or guardianship, and that can be expensive.
- A Guardianship Is Not Needed. If you fail to sign a comprehensive power of attorney before you become incapacitated, you and your family have few options. Someone will have to petition the court to appoint a guardian or a conservator. The judge will decide who will manage your financial health affairs. The court will also monitor the situation. This can be expensive, and you’ll have no say regarding who will be chosen to serve. With a POA, however, going to court is not necessary.
- It Lets You Discuss Your Wishes. An important decision is who your agent will be. When a parent or loved one decides to sign a power of attorney, it offers the chance to discuss the wishes and the expectation with the family and the person who’s named as an agent in a POA.
- Comprehensive Power of Attorney is Preferred. When you age, your needs change. Your POA should reflect this.
- Your Intent is Clear. If you become incapacitated, relatives may need to go to court to determine your intent. However, a well-drafted power of attorney provides a healthcare directive, which can eliminate the need for the family members to have arguments or disagree over your wishes.
- It Avoids Delays. With a comprehensive POA, all the powers required to do effective asset protection planning are included. Note: if a power of attorney doesn’t include the specific power, it can reduce the ability of the agent and may lead to significant setbacks.
Reference: Recently Heard (Jan. 30, 2020) “6 Reasons to Choose a Power of Attorney”