Medical and financial powers of attorney are documents that provide essential legal abilities for an agent acting on behalf of the principal.
However, each POA also provides many advantages in making life easier for the principal.
A power of attorney is a legal document that enables a trusted relative or friend to act as an agent and make healthcare or financial decisions on behalf of the principal who established the POA.
Further medical POA objectives
Often the POA goes into effect when the principal becomes incapacitated in some way. The agent steps in with the legal ability to make decisions about his or her medical care. However, the authority of the agent may extend to decisions about where the principal lives, such as an assisted living or nursing facility, and even what he or she eats.
Additional help through the financial POA
With a financial POA, primary responsibilities for the agent might include managing income for the principal, balancing the checkbook and paying bills. However, the agent may also file taxes, make investment decisions for the principal and apply for Social Security, veteran’s benefits and other government programs on his or her behalf.
The importance of advance preparation
With respect to creating powers of attorney, it is wise not to put off drafting these important documents. With age comes the possibility of dementia in some form. The principal must be mentally competent in order to execute a power of attorney for healthcare or finances, or the document will not be legal. Once established, however, these POAs will provide peace of mind for the principal and his or her family.