No one likes to think of a time when they might be incapacitated and unable to make sound legal decisions for themselves or otherwise need to authorize someone to act for them. But accidents or illness can happen at any time regardless of age or health condition, and failure to plan for the unexpected could make those circumstances even more troubling.
Granting power of attorney ahead of time often gives the appointed agent the legal power to act on one’s behalf and manage affairs should one become unable to do that on their own. Different kinds of powers are available. There can be a General Power of Attorney or a Limited Power of Attorney only for specified areas such as business transactions, real estate management, or certain health care issues, which should not be conflated with a living will. Usually, in the health care arena, this has to do with obtaining medical records and/or bills or paying the latter. Usually, a power of attorney can be revoked at any time with written notice to the agent and any other necessary legal notifications.
So, yes – basically most people with any significant property could benefit from designating an agent to act on their behalf as their power of attorney.
More information on Power of Attorney
Two additional things to keep in mind when one considers options in designating a power of attorney:
1) Trust is key. It is important to be able to completely trust the proposed agent. Sometimes it’s a friend or family member and sometimes it’s a trusted professional who possesses the expertise to carry out wishes according to instructions.
2) It is not necessary to name a lawyer as your agent, but it may be worthwhile to seek counsel from an attorney to make sure you are making a wise choice in an agent, you understand the extent and limits of the particular power granted, and that your documents meet all current and durable legal requirements.
If you’re ready to create a power of attorney or just want to know more about the benefits of having an agent designated to protect your interests, take a moment to consult an experienced and knowledgeable attorney who can answer your questions or guide you in the process.