The Importance of Having Medical and Financial Power of Attorney
A medical power of attorney (POA) and a financial power of attorney (POA) are two important legal documents that can help ensure that your wishes are followed if you become incapacitated. A medical POA allows you to appoint someone to make decisions about your healthcare, such as whether to have surgery or take certain medications. A financial POA allows you to appoint someone to manage your finances, such as paying your bills and accessing your bank accounts.
It is important to have these documents in place before an accident occurs, as it can be difficult or impossible to sign them after you are incapacitated. If you do not have a medical POA, your healthcare decisions will be made by your family members or by a court-appointed guardian. If you do not have a financial POA, your finances may be frozen or mismanaged.
Here are five reasons why seniors should have a medical and financial power of attorney in place before a hospital emergency or health event:
- To ensure that their wishes are followed. When you are incapacitated, you may not be able to make your own healthcare or financial decisions. A medical POA and a financial POA will ensure that your wishes are followed by the person you have appointed.
- To avoid conflict among family members. If you do not have a medical POA or a financial POA, your family members may disagree about your healthcare or financial decisions. This can lead to conflict and stress at a time when you are already going through a difficult situation.
- To save time and money. If you do not have a medical POA or a financial POA, it may take longer for your family members to get the healthcare or financial assistance you need. This can also be expensive, as your family members may have to hire an attorney to help them.
- To protect your assets. A financial POA can help protect your assets from being mismanaged by someone who is not trustworthy.
- To give you peace of mind. Knowing that your wishes will be followed and that your family members will be able to access your finances if you become incapacitated can give you peace of mind.
If you are a senior, it is important to talk to an attorney about getting a medical POA and a financial POA. These documents are an important part of estate planning and can help ensure that your wishes are followed if you become incapacitated.
Here are some additional tips for seniors who are considering getting a medical and financial power of attorney:
- Choose someone you trust to be your agent. Your agent should be someone who you know will make decisions that are in your best interests.
- Be specific about your wishes. In your medical POA, you should specify your wishes for your healthcare, such as whether you want to be resuscitated or placed on life support. In your financial POA, you should specify who you want to have access to your finances and how you want your finances to be managed.
- Review your documents regularly. Your wishes may change over time, so it is important to review your documents regularly and make any necessary changes.
Having a medical and financial power of attorney is an important step in estate planning. By taking the time to get these documents in place, you can give yourself peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be followed if you become incapacitated.