Power of Attorney Part 1: What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that lets another person (the “Agent”) make financial, health, and living arrangements for you (the “Principal”). This other person should be an individual whom you trust (such as a spouse or adult child), as they will able to act on your behalf. Some of their duties might include signing your name on documents, paying your bills, and caring for your children, among other things.
A POA can either be effective immediately, or can become effective only in the event that you are incapacitated by an accident, illness, or other situation. The Agent can do whatever is necessary in order to protect the Principal, and should act with the Principal’s best interests in mind.
In order to be prepared for whatever may come in the future, it is important to complete your POA as soon as possible. This will ensure that your finances, health, and family are protected even if you become incapacitated.