One of the most important things that you can do in your estate plan is to add a power of attorney designation. Creating a power of attorney is an essential step toward creating an estate plan that is effective and that can be carried out in the future.
Remember, if you become incapacitated due to injuries or illnesses, you will need someone to help manage your estate. A durable power of attorney for health care will make sure you have someone there who can help make health care decisions on your behalf. They will obtain the legal power to enforce your medical decisions. A power of attorney designation can also be used to choose a person to manage your finances if you cannot do so.
Why have a power of attorney for health care and your finances separately?
Setting up a power of attorney helps prevent disputes and confusion if you fall ill or are injured to the point of incapacity. This is beneficial not only to yourself but also to your loved ones, since they will know who has the responsibility of making medical decisions or financial decisions on your behalf.
Without a medical or general power of attorney, it is more likely that your family will end up with a dispute, and they may not agree on the kind of care you should receive or how to manage your finances correctly. Since you’re the one with the most experience in your own life, it makes sense for you to appoint those who understand your financial situation or medical wishes and have them make decisions in the case that you can no longer do so yourself.
Whether you’re 20, 50, or 80, it’s never too early (or late) to set up a power of attorney. Your attorney can help you assign at least a general power of attorney and health care power of attorney when you go through setting up your estate plan. You should think carefully about who you’d like to have fulfill those roles. Make sure you select those who will have your best interests at heart.