When planning for the future, it is natural to focus on your goals and dreams. However, it is equally important to consider what happens when unexpected situations arise.
One way to protect your interests is to include power of attorney documents in your estate plan. POA documents designate people you trust to make decisions on your behalf when you cannot make those decisions yourself.
Manage financial matters responsibly
Currently, only around a third of Americans have estate plans. This is unfortunate because advance directives and thorough planning can help individuals and their loved ones navigate difficult crises. If you cannot manage your money due to an accident or illness, a financial POA empowers the agent you select to handle transactions on your behalf. With a POA, your agent can access your financial accounts for bill payments. They can also take on taxes, investments, debt collection and property management duties. Furthermore, a POA can enable your agent to apply for government benefits like Medicaid or Social Security.
Choose the right person
When naming an agent or attorney-in-fact, select someone you trust to act with integrity and respect your preferences. It also is important to consider the person’s availability, proximity and ability to handle the responsibilities of being an agent. Discussing your intentions with them beforehand can ensure they are comfortable with the role.
POA documents can shape the outcome of unforeseen circumstances. With these documents included in your estate plan, you can ensure the responsible management of your financial affairs during challenging times.