What is a Power of Attorney and why would I do one?

When planning for incapacity, a Power of Attorney is an important legal document. A Power of Attorney is a document in which you appoint a person to act as your agent to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf. In most cases, the person appoints a family member who they trust, such as their spouse or children, to make these decisions for them. If you become incompetent, you will no longer have the ability to make basic daily decisions. For example, if you have a stroke or an accident and become incapacitated, you may no longer be able to pay bills, handle your finances or make decisions for yourself. Many people incorrectly assume that a spouse (or child) can sign their name for them. If you are concerned about who will take care of your affairs and finances in the event you become incapacitated, then you should consider signing a Power of Attorney.

Smiling disabled senior man and caring nurse

If you are unable to handle your affairs, the person you name as agent can pay your bills and handle your banking, make phone calls and communications on your behalf, manage your real estate, deal with employment issues, retirement and pension accounts, communicate with government agencies and apply for government programs, such as Medicare/Medicaid, and many other matters. It is important to name a person or persons whom you trust implicitly as your agents in your Power of Attorney. The Power of Attorney is an extremely powerful document and can be abused if given to the wrong person. Therefore, you should only execute a Power of Attorney if you have someone (usually a family member) whom you trust. The Power of Attorney must be signed when you are competent, once you become incompetent, it is too late to sign the Power of Attorney and your family would have to go through a Court Proceeding known as a Guardianship to legally handle your affairs. This is an expensive and lengthy process that can often cost thousands of dollars and last several months. The Power of Attorney can avoid the need for a Guardianship and save your family money, time and stress. The Power of Attorney allows you to have peace of mind knowing that your finances and your family will be taken care of in the event you become incapacitated. You should consult with an attorney for more information on the Power Of Attorney.

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  • MEDICAID APPLICATIONS: HOME CARE
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