Why Everyone Should Have a Power of Attorney
WHY EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE A POWER OF ATTORNEY
I’ve recently received several frantic calls from a family member of someone who is hospitalized and unable to communicate or act on their own behalf. The duration of the incapacity is unclear, but what is certain is the individual in the hospital is unable to handle his or her own affairs and there are tasks that need to be accomplished now! It is in these situations, that the importance of having previously signing a General Durable Power of Attorney becomes exceedingly clear.
A General Durable Power of Attorney (a “POA”) allows you to decide who will make financial and property decisions for you in the event that you cannot do so. In your POA, you appoint a primary and successor agent who will be responsible for paying your bills, managing your investments, buying and selling real property, and other tasks in the event that you become either temporarily or permanently incapacitated.
If you do not execute a POA and you later become incapacitated, then it may be necessary for someone to petition a court to be appointed as your conservator. This process can be lengthy and expensive, resulting in much delay in your affairs being addressed. It may also result in the appointment of someone you would not have chosen.
The moral of the story – sign a Power of Attorney and avoid the needless hassle!