Allowing someone else to decide for you isn’t something we do without adding a lot of thought to the process. Although it is possibly one of the most commonly used legal terms, few people know what it entails and why it is essential.
A power of attorney empowers a designated person with the authority to make life-changing decisions on your behalf. Depending on the agreement’s stipulations, the legal system recognizes the choices as lawful when invoked.
There are many reasons for someone to designate this agreement, and you can learn more about them here:
For General Everyday Use
This option is popular among companies that need their employees to make decisions on their behalf for acquisitions, for example. Older people will also appoint a family member to assist them with running errands to the bank or elsewhere, where they need to sign documentation.
Power of attorney for general settings usually includes a broad spectrum of areas that a person or company will need to cover. For example, a person with a power of attorney can handle financial decisions, pay bills, take care of claims, healthcare, or anything else in the agreement.
Outside of the agreement, the person won’t have the authority to act on the person’s behalf, even if it is in their best interests. Those who wish to know more about the types of agreements one can enter into should contact a reputable law firm.
Making Health Care Decisions
Accidents can happen at any moment, and some people want to be more prepared for these situations by appointing someone to have power of attorney over their medical treatments. Then, the elderly can have a similar agreement to care for their needs.
When combined with a living will, the person can rest assured that there will be someone to help them through difficult times. This reassurance brings them and their family members peace of mind.
The living will give direction to the caregivers on what should happen when the person nears the end of their life. Nonetheless, a power of attorney will provide a health care proxy the right to decide if the person becomes physically or mentally incapacitated.
Managing Your Finances
Some people use financial brokers to assist them with financial planning, making investments, securing policies, and more. The person can sign a limited power of attorney instead of having to sign and give permission for every step of the process.
The broker can now handle the complete process keeping their client’s best interest at heart. In addition, having a power of attorney in place and signed relieves pressure from the person, knowing their financial advisor will look after their business interests with the needed attention.
In The Case Of Incapacity
A durable power of attorney could be in place for two reasons. One is to keep the person with the decision-making power in charge of continuing to handle those aspects after the person that appointed them cannot provide their input. Secondly, when a medical doctor deems the person no longer fit to make these decisions.
Someone can become incapacitated for various reasons, including mental and physical health. Therefore, the agreement that both parties enter should stipulate that a doctor should decide when the person can’t make critical decisions.
A medical professional will do the necessary testing and observations before declaring a person not competent in higher cognitive functions. Only when a person fits the criteria will the doctor make the diagnosis and give their professional opinion for the law firm to consider.
To Ensure All Matters Are Legally Handled
Many people are concerned about what will happen to their homes, businesses, or other essential aspects of their lives and belongings when they cannot take care of them themselves. There is always a possibility that someone in the family or business can mishandle assets or finances.
Because a power of attorney is a binding legal agreement, it would keep all the parties in check, and the person’s affairs will be safe. The person stipulated as having power of attorney would have to follow its directions and stipulations to the letter of the law or risk being legally held accountable.
Ending The Discussion
An agreement as powerful as this shouldn’t negatively affect either party, but more so the person initiating the process. It is said that it’s better to be safe rather than sorry, and having a power of attorney would give everyone this peace of mind.
Ensure to discuss all the options with a reputable law firm with experience with these agreements so they can explain all the aspects before finalizing the deal. After all, life-of-death decisions are worth giving proper attention to, and ending the discussion professionally and legally makes it easier for everyone involved.