Most people are familiar with the legal term “power of attorney,” but many do not realize how important it is to designate another party to handle their affairs in situations where they are not able to do so.
When you least expect it, your life can take a turn for the worse, putting you or your family in a position where help is needed to make decisions that are going to have significant consequences for everyone involved.
Leaving important life decisions up to a verbal agreement is never a good solution. Signing a document like a power of attorney (POA) may be intimidating, but with the proper legal assistance, a reasonable agreement between you and someone you trust can be created.
A Sad Situation
Trust is the central component of a POA. According to the Texas-based Valley News, police arrested a home health nurse and her husband accused of stealing more than $450,000 from an elderly couple after the care worker somehow got power of attorney.
This unfortunate incident shows the urgency of planning for power of attorney in advance so that elders in your family do not fall victim to financial exploitation or other scams.
What is it?
A power of attorney is a document that lets you appoint a person or organization to manage your financial and/or medical decisions on your behalf if you aren’t able to so.
These powers include handling financial and business transactions and healthcare choices when you are physically or mentally incapable of managing your affairs. You are able to give a person complete authority to make all decisions or limit them significantly to make only specific decisions.
A POA can be changed or revoked at any time, but only if you are mentally competent in the eyes of the law.
How to Do it
A general power of attorney should always be included in an estate plan.
The first step to getting a strong POA document is to contact a lawyer so they can guide you through the necessary paperwork to assure that it will be honored by medical and financial institutions when needed.
Needing a power of attorney is almost as certain as death and taxes in everyone’s life. Illness, injury, old age, or daily life commitments happen to everyone.
To learn more about preparing a Power of Attorney, contact San Antonio office to schedule a free consultation at (210) 651-3851 and put our over 35 years of experience to work for you.