Power of Attorney Part 4: What if I don’t have a Power of Attorney, and am injured/fall ill?
Having a Power of Attorney (“POA”) is essential for being prepared for possible accidents in the future.
As an example, say a person over the age of 18 gets into an accident and is incapacitated as a result, and now needs someone to act on his or her behalf. However, they did not set up a POA prior to the accident, so that no one has this legal authority.
The incapacitated person’s potential Agent must now go to court and fight for a Guardianship because a POA was not already in place. This involves proving to the court that the individual is physically or mentally incompetent, and demonstrating that you are best suited to care for them. This process takes months to complete, using up precious time, energy, and money.
Most people feel utterly lost when trying to navigate the guardianship process and added anxiety is the last thing you need during this time. All the while, the incapacitated person’s assets are still waiting to be taken care of; insurance premiums may not get paid. Further, you are not sure that the court will appoint the person you would choose as the POA.
This is why it is essential to get the POA as soon as possible, while you are still well and able-bodied. It saves time and frustration for all parties involved.