The Importance of Power-of-Attorneys
A Power-of-Attorney (POA) is a legal document used in estate planning to allow someone close to you to act on your behalf should you be unable to do so. A legal relationship is created in which you are the principal and the person you appoint is the agent. You will specify the powers you give to your agent within the document. For estate planning purposed, two types of Power-of-Attorney documents are recommended, a Business or Financial Power-of-Attorney and a Healthcare Power-of-Attorney.
Business or Financial Power-of-Attorney
A Business or Financial Power-of-Attorney is a document that allows your agent to handle financial and business transactions on your behalf. You can choose to give power to your agent immediately or upon certification from a doctor that you are unable to conduct your own affairs. A Business or Financial Power-of-Attorney is important to have to avoid any delays or additional costs you may incur if you are incapacitated and your bills, for example, are not being paid. Another reason to have a Business or Financial Power-of-Attorney is to ensure a person you trust handles your affairs. In the event you are unable to handle your own business and financial affairs and you do not have a Business or Financial Power-of-Attorney executed, the Court would have to appoint a Conservator adding stress and cost for your family.
Healthcare Power-of-Attorney & Living Will
A Healthcare Power-of-Attorney allows your agent to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. This decision-making authority can be extremely important in situations when quick decisions need to be made or when there is disagreement among family members regarding medical decisions. Having an agent designated can ease family tensions during stressful times and assist medical professionals in knowing who to turn to for medical decisions.
A Living Will expressing your medical care wishes regarding life-prolonging treatment can be included in the Healthcare Power-of-Attorney document if desired.
If you are interested in discussing your estate planning needs, call or email Jordan & Mahoney Law Firm, P.C. at any of our four offices located in Boone, Ames, Madrid and Webster City, Iowa.