Ever wondered why you should both with a power of attorney? I mean really, what’s the point? Do I really want to appoint someone to make decisions for me? Well, you should bother, it helps avoid much more expensive lawsuits down the road and helps prepare your family (tl;dr).
What is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney provides someone else the authority to make financial or medical decisions for you through a legal document. The person who gets this authority is called your agent, but the person granting the authority signs the document. The agent doesn’t. You want to make sure these documents are drafted properly as they can have a great impact.
A medical power of attorney grants your agent the authority to speak with doctors and make medical decisions when you find yourself unable to communicate with doctors or medical staff. A financial power of attorney designates your agent as someone who makes financial decisions for you such as paying bills, moving property, paying utility expenses or simply keeping track of your money for you.
Length of Time
A power of attorney can start immediately, be for a designated period of time, or can “spring” or start upon a determination of your disability or incapacity. Your other option is to designate these to start upon a certain event occurring. You really have some great flexibility to avoid pitfalls.
Why Do This?
Simple answer – money and time. We don’t like to think about death or the inevitable fact we’ll grow old. Me neither. I prefer to focus on now. However, without these documents your family will need to file guardianship documents with a court requiring potentially lengthy litigation and legal expenses exceeding $1,000.00 easily. While putting together these types of documents can cost you easily half of this. Plus, it resolves the issue before it becomes an issue.
When Should I Get One?
If over the age of 18, you should seriously consider putting these documents together. Plenty of horror stories exist about needing these to help make medical decisions for a loved one or trying to get this done when it could be too late and issues arise, such as Dementia or Alzheimer’s. (Watch The Big Sick) Considering the minimal cost to put these together with a legal professional, there isn’t much reason to delay getting this done. It truly can make a huge difference in your life.
When do you get this completed, make sure you speak to your family. Communication saves a lot of turmoil and issues from arising. Furthermore, it let’s them know your wishes and gives you an opportunity to answer their questions and concerns.
If you find yourself in a difficult situation and need to discuss your issues with someone, you can always reach out to an attorney to give you some advice and direction. Please feel free to give Rasley Law Group a call at 972-584-7626 or visit our website at www.rasleylaw.com. We help those in the Dallas / Fort Worth area including Denton, Collin, and Dallas County.