Estate planning is for everyone which is what makes it important to be familiar with estate planning documents that can help estate planners protect themselves and their interests. This includes understanding why the estate planner should have powers of attorney and what they do.
The importance of powers of attorney in an estate plan
- Financial power of attorney: A durable power of attorney for finances allows the estate planner to name an agent to act on their behalf concerning their financial affairs. The agent could be a family member, friend or fiduciary. Responsibilities of the agent may include paying the estate planner’s bills, caring for the estate planner’s home or handling disputes on the estate planner’s behalf.
- Power of attorney for healthcare: A healthcare power of attorney is similar to a financial power of attorney except that it is for financial affairs. The named agent will have the authority to make healthcare decisions for the estate planner if they are unable to make them for themselves. Responsibilities of the agent may include placement of the estate planner in a rehabilitation facility or direct the estate planner’s end of life care according to their wishes.
Estate planning is critical for estate planners to engage in to ensure they will be properly cared for financially and medically if they are incapacitated at some point. Powers of attorney for financial affairs or medical care provide important protections for the estate planner and their family and loved ones during a difficult time to ensure their interests are looked after.