The Power of Attorney: When Do You Need One?

There are many reasons why you can become incapacitated. It could be because of an accident, illness, or simply age. If these factors leave you in a state where you cannot tell the kind of treatment you want, or it is already impossible to control your finances, you may need outside help. No one wants to be in such a state, but it may happen at one point in life. In this situation, you may need an attorney to manage your healthcare and financial decisions. An estate planning lawyer in Reno can help ensure all your financial and medical needs are met if you are debilitated. Let’s discuss what the power of attorney entails and how it can help cater to your medical and financial needs.

The Power of Attorney Explained

Simply, POA is a legal document that gives power to the individual you have picked to make decisions on your behalf. This document allows the person to make medical and financial decisions if you are mentally incapacitated such that it is impossible for you to make these decisions. As long as the document is valid, the person you have appointed has the power to look after vital things in your life like paying medical bills, directing your treatment, and managing your investments.

It is critical to take some time to create this document to ensure you and your family are safe should something unfortunate happen to you. With the power of attorney designated to another person, your family will need to go to court to be given the authority to handle your business.

The Power of Attorney as a Medical Directive

This document has your wishes documents so that the person can represent you and ensure these wishes are met should you be in a position where you cannot speak. In this document, you have a trustee who will oversee all your medical decision. An attorney is viable in this case to act as your representative. Remember, the agent or attorney cannot go outside the wishes you have noted in the document. There is a “living will” among the documents that dictate to the trustee how you would like things to be done.

The Power of Attorney as a Financial Directive

This is another document in the power of attorney which permits another person to handle financial transactions for you. The person will be responsible for filing your tax returns and managing your investments and retirement accounts. The representative does not need to be a financial expert. You only need to appoint someone you trust with your business and money.

The Importance of Separating Medical and Financial Documents

One thing you need to know is that these documents will have all your personal details. You may not want to mix business with your personal issues. Additionally, there could be something you would not like your financial broker to know. Making separate documents for the same agent makes it easy to separate the two.

The Bottom Line

Being prepared for anything that may happen in life is crucial, especially if you own a lot of wealth. You want to know that your assets will not go to waste should you become incapacitated. Therefore, it is ideal to appoint someone and give them the power of attorney to make your medical and financial decisions.

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