Even very responsible adults can find reasonable-sounding excuses to delay estate planning. If they take the time to create a will, they may fail to add more documents to their estate plan that broaden their protection and improve the support available for their loved ones.
Your estate plan can include many different documents, some of which are for your protection before you die. Powers of attorney could benefit almost every legal adult, and yet many people fail to integrate these valuable documents into their estate plans.
How would creating powers of attorney protect you if you experience some kind of medical emergency?
There will be someone to act on your behalf
Perhaps the most important protection that powers of attorney provide is the practical support that others can offer thanks to such documents. When you draft a financial power of attorney, you can give a close friend or a cousin the ability to use your checking account to pay your mortgage and other current bills while you remain incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself.
A medical power of attorney can grant someone other than a spouse the power to make your wishes known to medical care providers. You can also provide instructions about your specific medical preferences.
They protect you from involuntary guardianship
Provided that you use the right language when drafting your powers of attorney, they can be durable documents whose authority persists even if you become permanently incapacitated. Developing Alzheimer’s disease would be an example of how an adult might end up permanently incapacitated and in need of support for personal matters.
When you have powers of attorney on record, you can retain control over who manages your financial and medical affairs instead of just leaving yourself at the mercy of whoever tries to seek authority over you. You will be able to limit how much power someone else has and what they can do on your behalf or with your resources with a very thorough and carefully created power of attorney, instead of handing over full access and control via a guardianship.
Adding the right documents to your estate plan will maximize your protection regardless of what happens in your life.