If you become sick or disabled, who will make decisions for you? Establishing a durable power of attorney allows you to appoint someone to handle your affairs if you become unable to do so.
What Is A Power of Attorney?
A healthcare durable power of attorney is a legal document that designates a person, the power of attorney agent, of your choice to represent your medical affairs, should you become unable to due to sickness or disability. An asset durable power of attorney acts in a similar way, and is a legal document that designates an agent of your choice to represent your financial affairs. The person you select, or “agent”, should be someone you trust, such as a close family member or friend. They are designated specifically to act on your behalf if you are no longer able to make decisions.
Without a power of attorney, your family will be unable to assist you in receiving medical treatment, paying bills, obtaining records, or making other decisions if you become unable to do so. If no agent is designated, your family may have to file a conservatorship petition, which seeks a conservatorship or guardianship of a disabled person. This is a lengthy court process that involves several attorneys, and could cost anywhere from $4,000-$50,000. Setting up a power of attorney starts at $200.
What Can an Agent Do?
The scope of your agent’s control over your affairs can be as big or as small as you specify. Additionally, an agent’s power will only take effect if you are no longer able to make those decisions or perform those tasks yourself. You will maintain control of your affairs, barring incapacitation.
Some typical responsibilities of an agent include:
- Paying bills (including medical)
- Managing medical insurance
- Enrolling in government benefits
- Managing retirement and bank accounts
How Can I Take Action?
No one likes to imagine themselves incapacitated or otherwise unable to make their own decisions. However, establishing a power of attorney can help minimize cost and hassle in such unfortunate circumstances. It is important to give your family the tools and ability to help you, if you can no longer help yourself. Consider securing your future and creating those tools today.
Contact the Gordon Law Group today at 615-649-0401 to designate your power of attorney agent.