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5 Things You Need to Know About Powers of Attorney

Here’s what you need to know about a POA.

If you want to appoint another person to help you make financial or medical decisions, you might want to consider implementing a Power of Attorney (POA). This is a legal document that enables you to appoint another person who can assist you. POAs are often utilized when a spouse is deployed overseas and the person at home needs to make important decisions regarding bank accounts, vehicles, or even household goods. A POA can also be used if you become unable to make medical decisions for yourself and need another person to help you. Before you visit your attorney to draft up a POA, however, there are a few things you should know.

1. A POA can help you even if you aren’t sick.

Some adults believe that a Power of Attorney document is used only to make medical decisions when someone is incapacitated or unable to make those choices for themselves; however, a POA can also be used to sell someone’s car, buy a vehicle in someone’s name, buy property, or even close a bank account. If you need someone to help you with any sort of legal or financial decision that you cannot be present for, a POA may be your best option for getting the job done.

2. A POA can be used for different things.

Understand that a POA can be used for a variety of things. For example, if you want someone to help you buy a home, but you cannot physically be present at the time of the purchase, you may choose to utilize a POA. Similarly, if you need to sign documents at your utility company or purchase a propane order for your home, but you need help, a POA enables you to designate a friend or relative who can assist you with this.

3. A POA is a personal thing.

Whether or not you use a POA is your personal decision. Don’t let anyone bully you into using or not using a POA. Understand that the choice to have another person helping you make big decisions is your own. You have the right to use a POA, but you also have the right not to.

4. A POA doesn’t have to last forever

A Power of Attorney document can have an end date. You may choose a specific end date, such as in one month or one year. This can help ensure that the person you designate doesn’t use the POA after its intended purpose is complete.

5. Not all POAs are created equal

Whether you want to enable someone to make medical choices, financial choices, or a very specific choice, you’ll be able to create a POA that works for you. No two POAs are alike, and when you meet with an attorney to draft one, you’ll be able to stipulate the conditions you want to utilize. For example, maybe you want to designate someone who can buy a car for you during a specific week. Perhaps you want to appoint someone to make medical decisions for you under very specific circumstances. Bring up these concerns with your attorney so they can help you create the right type of POA.

If you’re ready to talk about utilizing a Power of Attorney, visit your elder law attorney today. Your lawyer can help you draft up a document and designate someone to assist you with upcoming decisions you may need to make.

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