What is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney is a legal document that gives an individual of your choosing the power to make decisions for you if you become unable to do so. Sadly, what is often obtained as a “just in case” document becomes used more often than our clients originally planned for. However, our clients are always happy to have one less thing to worry about during emergencies or other stressful situations.
What can a Power of Attorney do?
There are multiple types of decisions that the power of attorney can be given the power to make for you, including the power to:
- Make financial decisions
- Make gifts of money
- Make health care decisions, including the ability to consent to giving, withholding, or stopping medical treatments, services, or diagnostic procedures
- Recommend a guardian
Please note that you can have more than one power of attorney, meaning that one individual can be selected to handle financial decisions while another can be selected to make medical decisions. It’s important to select a trusted individual, as they are expected to place your interests before their own (which may or may not always be a family member).