If you were to become incapacitated due to an accident or health condition, who would make decisions on your behalf? What about your finances? A power of attorney (or POA) is a critical legal document designed to protect in these situations.
A POA is a legal document that enables someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf should you be unable to do so. This may include your spouse, a trusted family member or a friend. Depending on the type of POA you choose, the person you select (agent) can have limited or full authority.
There are several types of POAs you can choose from to fit your specific needs. Some of these types include:
- Durable POA: Some POAs are non-durable, which means they end if you become incapacitated. Durable POAs are the opposite as they continue once you become unable to make decisions. These are the most useful types of POAs for estate planning purposes.
- Financial POA: This is a limited POA, allowing your agent to make decisions regarding only your finances. For example, this allows your agent to pay bills, get information about your financial accounts and file your taxes on your behalf.
- Medical POA: A medical POA is also limited, allowing your agent to make medical decisions only. For example, your agent will decide what treatments you undergo in the event of an illness.
We recommend reaching out to an estate planning attorney who can help you choose the right type of POA for you and your family.
Everyone can benefit from having a POA. In fact, a power of attorney is just as critical as a will when it comes to your estate plan. Anyone who wants to ensure their wishes are honored should have some type of POA. This is especially important if you have children that will need to be cared for or a high number of assets to manage.
If you’re without a POA and become unable to make decisions, someone you may not have chosen will need to step in and make them for you. A POA can prevent this.
Schneider Law Firm, P.C. in Arlington, Texas, provides estate planning services, including the drafting of POAs. We can help you ensure the protection of your family, finances and assets. To learn more about a power of attorney, give us a call at 817-799-7125 or send us a message.