Perhaps an accident that left you with a serious injury gave you a scare. What if you had become totally incapacitated?
You would gain peace of mind by establishing powers of attorney. These essential estate planning tools can address both your healthcare and financial needs in a time of crisis.
The POA for healthcare
A power of attorney for healthcare allows you to name a trustworthy relative or friend to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event you suffer a serious illness or injury that prevents you from doing so yourself.
The POA for finances
The financial POA often goes hand-in-hand with the healthcare POA. Once again, you will give a trusted relative or friend the responsibility of handling the financial side of your life. This includes dealing with income and debt, preparing tax returns, managing investments and anything else of a financial nature.
The springing POA
Keep in mind that a durable POA becomes active as soon as you sign it. The agent you name becomes responsible for making medical or financial decisions immediately, even if you are not incapacitated. However, with a springing POA, your agent can only assume legal authority at such time as you can no longer manage your own affairs.
The importance of timing
You may thankful that the injury you suffered as the result of an accident did not rob you of your mental powers. However, given the possibility of dementia as you grow older, it is wise to set up your powers of attorney now, while you are mentally capable of doing so. There is no better time than the present to protect your future with both a healthcare and a financial POA.