If you have read through our blog, you probably know how important it is to create a power of attorney as a part of your estate plan. Powers of attorney are remarkably useful and flexible documents that almost anyone can use regardless of their situation. However, there are some groups of people who are particularly in need when it comes to developing one or more powers of attorney. Today, we thought we’d take a little time to look at these groups of people and explain why it’s so important for them to have a power of attorney in place.
Parents with Young Children
As the parent of a child who is dependent on you for care, support, and guidance, it’s your responsibility to make sure that your child will be provided for no matter what happens to you. Should you die, do you know what would happen to your child? What about if you are incapacitated? Who would take over parenting responsibilities? Do you just assume that your spouse, parents, siblings, or other relatives would step in to take over?
Even if you are married, have a strong family support system, and are certain that someone will be able to care for your child if you are no longer able to, you still need a power of attorney to protect your child’s needs. Should you become incapacitated, your power of attorney can make it clear who you want to step in to your caregiver role. This is even important if your child’s other parent is an active caregiver, as the two of you could become incapacitated or injured at the same time.
People with Serious Illnesses
If you’ve recently learned that you’ve been diagnosed with a serious, chronic, or even terminal disease, creating a power of attorney is absolutely essential. You will need your power of attorney in place in case you are no longer capable of managing your own affairs. Should, for example, your medical treatments rob you of your ability to make choices, your power of attorney will be there to appoint someone who will not only be able to manage your finances, and also someone who will be able to communicate with your doctors and make decisions on your behalf.
Even though none of us like to think about it, our ability to make choices and manage our own affairs declines as we age. In some situations, seniors can be left suddenly unable to make decisions, and will need others to step in to do it on their behalf.
If you are senior and do not have a power of attorney in place, you will leave it up to your loved ones and family members to ask a court to appoint someone to step-in should you lose capacity. A power of attorney allows you to circumvent this step, and also gives you the ability to choose the representative you want.