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A lot of people have wrong notions about powers of attorney. They think that only the elderly as well as those with massive assets are only the ones who must draft power-of-attorney forms. However, the need for POA is not limited only to these groups. Even younger people and those who have only a few assets may create powers of attorney. A POA suits people who want to have the peace of mind knowing that someone they trust will act on their behalf regarding financial or health care matters when they are no longer able to do so.
It is impossible to underestimate the importance of POA. This legal document comes in handy when you incur an injury or develop a life-threatening disease, both of which render you incapable of making decisions on your own. In case you become physically or mentally incapacitated, how could you possibly pay your bills and mortgages or conduct transactions at the bank? Imagine your home getting foreclosed because you are physically unable to pay off your home loan while you were undergoing medical treatment in a hospital. If you do not have an attorney-in-fact, you might get into trouble with the law.
You don’t want that to happen, right? So it is a wise move to have someone take care of your properties while you are away.
What will happen if you don’t have an attorney-in-fact and you are incapable of acting or deciding for your affairs? The court will then use its discretion in deciding who will be in charge of making decisions regarding your finances, properties, or health care. A judge will choose a person who will serve as your legal representative, and this agent may be someone who you do not fully trust. If you want to have a say on who will take care of your affairs when you become incapable of doing so, then it makes perfect sense to create a power-of-attorney document.
When is the best time to get a power of attorney? The answer is simple: now. It is because a POA is designed to protect yourself and your assets when the unexpected happens such as a debilitating illness or a serious injury. Thus, you will never know when a POA becomes necessary. Having said that, it pays to create it as soon as you can so that you avoid the conflicts or hassles that might arise should crucial decision-making has to be made and you are unable to do it.Power of Attorney: Should You Get One? by Harrison Barnes
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