While it is a perfectly viable option to start your estate planning journey with a simple will, there are a number of important documents you should eventually get in order. One of these documents that can help you prepare for the worst is a power of attorney.
The American Bar Association defines a power of attorney as a document that grants an agent the authority to act on your behalf for a specific purpose or for many applications. You can make the best decisions when adding a power of attorney to your estate plan by understanding what it does for you and who to pick as your agent.
What can the agent named in your power of attorney do for you?
The person named in your power of attorney assumes decision-making authority if you become incapacitated or lack the ability to act on your own behalf for any reason. Common uses for power of attorney include naming another individual to handle your finances or to oversee your real estate. You can also name an agent to make medical decisions for you if you become unable to voice your own wishes.
How can you choose the right agent?
The agent you name in your power of attorney should be a trusted, responsible individual who is willing to assume the role. You might also consider naming multiple individuals to handle different types of tasks in your name. Be sure to revisit your will on a regular basis and reevaluate if the agents named in your power of attorney are still fit for the role.
A power of attorney is a document that can grant peace of mind to any type of individual, regardless of age or wealth. Adding a power of attorney to your estate plan helps ensure preparedness for any eventuality.