When making an estate plan, you have the option of including a power of attorney alongside your will, funeral arrangements and executor of the estate. A power of attorney is a representative you designate to make decisions on your behalf. Your power of attorney doesn’t just make any decision regardless if you agree or not, however.
There are certain decisions that your power of attorney can and can’t make. To understand what your power of attorney is entitled to do, you should read further:
What can a power of attorney do?
As stated above, a power of attorney will act on your behalf and make crucial decisions regarding your health and finances as your agent, typically, with your best interests in mind. However, a power of attorney is normally only active if you’re found to be incapacitated. In other words, if you develop a medical condition or mental illness, suffered from an accident or are otherwise in a state in which you need an agent, then your power of attorney may step in.
Your power of attorney may represent you when paying rent, debt, utility bills, mortgage or other financial matters. They may also decide what medical treatments, medication, surgeries or physical therapy sessions you’ll undergo.
However, you can also have a power of attorney represent you during an investment purchase. For this, you don’t necessarily have to be incapacitated and is useful if you’re overseas or unavailable for the purchase.
When should you get a power of attorney?
It’s often believed that people should get a power of attorney once they are 18 years of age. An accident or medical condition can happen unexpectedly and having an estate plan with a power of attorney can help.