A POA As A Safeguard Of Your Assets, Your Health And Your Wishes
“Who will take care of my mortgage payments, my house and medical decisions if something happens to me?” Thoughtful people often consider questions like these, knowing that an unexpected catastrophic event could make answers urgent. An accidental injury, a grave illness, a kidnapping and another dire circumstance can leave life’s business in disarray if there is no plan in place.
Without a plan in place, a family member or someone else close to you might need to be appointed as your guardian to take care of your affairs. This can be a costly, time-consuming legal process. Thankfully, there is a cost-effective, time-saving alternative. A power of attorney (POA) can answer questions such as, “Who will watch out for my money, home and health?” in advance. You can have peace of mind and the satisfaction of having your affairs in order by creating and formalizing one or more of the following:
A medical power of attorney that gives someone the ability to make decisions for you when you cannot make them yourself due to incapacity. Assigning this responsibility ahead of time to a person you trust can greatly reduce stress and uncertainty for all parties concerned (the patient, the family and medical personnel) while facilitating the honoring of your wishes in case of a medical crisis. A related document that will help your agent and medical providers understand your preferences is a living will. It will spell out what types of medical procedures you would give your assent to, such as:
- Life support
- Palliative care
A financial power of attorney that lets someone you trust to handle your bank accounts, credit accounts, investment accounts, medical bills and more. It can free up your resources that your loved ones may need to use to take care of you in case of a health crisis.
A durable power of attorney that can be made to be immediate (functional as soon as the document is signed) or springing (triggered by a particular event such as your incapacitation).
- A general durable power of attorney that gives a designated agent the ability to take any legal actions that you would ordinarily handle for yourself, including selling real estate in your name. This person’s signature plus the power of attorney will be as good as your signature in normal times.
- A special durable power of attorney that is like a general one, but applies only to specific, named purposes such as managing particular business interests.
Learn More About Powers Of Attorney
The descriptions above are general and not necessarily tailored to your unique concerns. To discuss your priorities, hopes and needs with an experienced estate planning lawyer, contact Schnauss Naugle Law in Jacksonville. Attorney Katherine Schnauss Naugle has nearly two decades of experience helping individuals and couples like you (and your spouse, if applicable) to prepare for the unexpected use of powerful legal tools such as powers of attorney. To schedule a consultation, call (904) 643-6342 or send an inquiry through this website.