A Power of Attorney is different than an Advance Healthcare Directive because an Advance Healthcare Directive only allows another individual to make healthcare decisions on a principal s behalf. It talks about specific circumstances under which a principal would like someone else to be their agent for health and allows a principal to define the types of authority they would like the agent to have. A Power of Attorney is similar, but is used only for financial decisions.
You can name more than one attorney-in-fact if you believe that different people will better handle certain decisions or transactions. You may also name a fiduciary, such as an accountant, lawyer, or other professional as your attorney-in-fact if you wish.
In addition, if you ever become incapacitated, without this document, even if you have a spouse, the court may need to step in and appoint a guardian or conservator for you. The process of appointing a guardian is costly and requires the guardian to formally report your situation to the court each year. CNN Money estimates that the process of obtaining a court appointed guardian exceeds $1,000. If this is the situation you find yourself in now, please read our guide about getting guardianship over your elderly parent here.
You should consider having a POA if: You travel out of the country often. You are employed in a hazardous work environment. You have been diagnosed with a serious illness. You have business or property that you would want maintained if you were unavailable. You have children that would need to be provided for if you were to become incapacitated. You want a specific person to be responsible for your affairs. You have rules about how you run your business, property, or life, and you want to ensure they are upheld. You are approaching old age and would like to designate a representative for yourself.
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