When making your estate plans, it is important to anticipate the uncertainties of life. A sudden illness or an accident can leave you incapacitated and unable to make decisions surrounding your finances or health care. In such a case, you need someone known as an agent to act on your behalf.
You can do this using power of attorney, a legal document that lets you designate someone to act on your behalf.
Types of power of attorney
Several types of power of attorney exist depending on the agent’s responsibilities. For instance, power of attorney can be general or limited relative to the scope within which the agent can act.
General power of attorney gives the agent authority to make broader decisions compared to a limited power of attorney that specifies the task an agent is supposed to execute. Power of attorney can also be durable, whereby it continues to exist even after you become incapacitated.
Who should you pick as an agent?
Given that it is a position of authority, you should choose someone you trust to act as an agent. It could be a spouse or a family member who you think is up to the task. You can pick more than one agent, although you must specify if they need to act jointly or separately.
Can you revoke a power of attorney?
It is well within your rights to revoke the powers of attorney granted to an agent as long as you are in a mental and physical state to do so. However, all interested parties need to be aware of your revocation to avoid loose ends.
Getting it right
Having power of attorney will give you peace of mind that someone will readily step in when you are incapacitated and make decisions that will protect your interests. Therefore, it is necessary that you avoid any mistakes that could void your plans and throw everything in disarray.