When to Consider Establishing a Power of Attorney

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When to Consider Establishing a Power of Attorney

Choosing to assign a power of attorney is essential for setting up your future and can be done at any point in adult life. An estate planning attorney will work with you to craft a document that respects your wishes, ensuring that your rights and interests remain protected even in the uncertain times your life may bring. 

While most men and women believe estate planning and appointing a power of attorney is a decision to make in older age, experts in the field encourage anyone over the age of 18 to consider their financial allocation wishes, medical wishes, and end-of-life care. No one wants to think about when they might go, but creating a robust estate plan assists family members and beneficiaries with important decisions after their loved one is gone.

What is power of attorney?

According to the American Bar Association, a power of attorney allows individuals to create a safety net if they cannot make decisions on their behalf. For example, if someone becomes ill or injured and cannot make important financial, legal, or health-related choices, their agent can act by that individual’s wishes. A power of attorney is beneficial and convenient for older adults who are more likely to face the need for medical care and cannot manage their finances properly. 

By creating a power of attorney, the burden of decision-making is adjusted for families and loved ones. Without a power of attorney, different states and financial institutions may have varying policies on who can make medical or financial decisions on their behalf – even if it’s their spouse. So while thinking about a power of attorney document may not be the most glamorous task, it’s nevertheless an essential part of creating a secure financial future.

What considerations should be made when establishing power of attorney?

Appointing a power of attorney is a serious decision that involves giving someone else the authority to make crucial decisions on your behalf within and outside of an estate plan. Here are some factors to consider when appointing a power of attorney:

  1. Trustworthiness: You should choose someone you trust to act in your best interest and fulfill your end-of-life and financial wishes.
  2. Competence: The person you appoint as your power of attorney should be capable of managing your affairs. Consider factors like their age, experience, relationship, and skills.
  3. Availability: Your power of attorney should be someone available and willing to act on your behalf when needed. Moreover, they should be an excellent communicator and respect your wishes. 
  4. Legal requirements: Make sure the person you choose meets the legal requirements for being a power of attorney in your state.

It’s important to remember that a power of attorney is a powerful tool, and you should carefully choose someone who you trust to act in your best interests. It’s also strongly advised to consult an attorney versed in estate planning to ensure you follow all applicable laws and regulations.

Questions? Contact us today!

At Andrea Heckman Law, we understand the importance of protecting yourself and those closest to you with a legal plan tailored to your needs and goals. With an experienced power of attorney, you can ensure that your interests and wishes are safeguarded even when facing life’s toughest challenges. 

You are never too young or too old to consider creating an estate plan with a power of attorney.  Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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Andrea Heckman

Managing Attorney

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