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Principled Advocacy For Families And Individuals With Disabilities And The Professionals Who Serve Them

3 reasons many people add powers of attorney to their estate plans

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | Estate Planning

Estate plans can consist of just a will or a variety of different documents. Testators can create legal paperwork to protect their loved ones after they die. They can also draft documents that help protect themselves from unpredictable circumstances throughout their life.

Powers of attorney are among the most useful documents for those thinking about future personal needs, not just the inevitability of death. Powers of attorney allow individuals to name someone else to act as their agent or attorney-in-fact if they become incapacitated. There are financial and medical powers of attorney that can help people delegate authority for managing their health care needs or economic support requirements after an emergency. The following are the main reasons that people decide to draft powers of attorney.

Pressing medical challenges

Those facing debilitating or lifelong medical issues often establish estate plans if they have not already or expand their existing documents. Cancer, multiple sclerosis and other chronic or progressive medical issues could leave people worried about meeting their own needs in the future. Those facing medical issues often add powers of attorney to their estate plans to protect themselves from vulnerability in the future.

Unique personal preferences or needs

Perhaps someone runs a small business that could be at risk of insolvency if they become unable to manage the company for some reason. Perhaps someone prefers to decline aggressive medical intervention in an emergency, or maybe they would prefer to receive any interventions possible. People can outline their wishes in estate planning documents so that there aren’t any questions about what type of support they should receive in an emergency. Powers of attorney can help people ensure that someone they trust manages their financial obligations or oversees their medical issues when they experience some kind of incapacitating incident.

Fears about guardianship

Sometimes, advanced age or personal medical challenges lead to a loss of testamentary capacity. Those who lack the ability to control their own resources or medical choices could be at risk of guardianship. The creation of durable powers of attorney before someone’s health declines could protect them. Otherwise, someone without their best interests at heart might assume authority over their finances and medical needs.

Adding powers of attorney to an estate plan can give people protection and peace of mind in an unpredictable world. Those who create more thorough estate plans can move through the world with more confidence because they know they’ve taken steps to ensure that they’ll have support, no matter what happens.