A power of attorney (POA) grants authority to someone you trust to manage your finances and make other important decisions for you, should you become incapacitated. This document must be created in advance before you become incapacitated.
Some people are under the misconception that a power of attorney is something that only senior citizens need to take care of, but this is not true. While you are mentally fit and able, you should meet with an attorney to craft this essential document. Without it, a court will have to appoint a guardian for your affairs if you are mentally unable to make decisions yourself.
Who Would You Choose?
It may seem obvious to you which family member you would choose to be guardian of your affairs, but many families would dispute amongst themselves who should have that privilege. Therefore, you should make the choice yourself while you are able.
Another reason to act now is that without a power of attorney, the court can grant whatever powers it deems necessary to your guardian. These may be different powers than what you would intend. By creating a POA, you can decide exactly who will act for you, and the extent of the powers they will have over your affairs.
How Does a POA Work?
Some of the powers that can be covered in a power of attorney are:
- Paying bills
- Making investments
- Selling property
Other powers, such as the ability to change estate plans may be granted, but they should not be granted lightly.
In legal terms, you are the principal in a power of attorney and the person you designate to act for you is your agent. Be sure that you name someone you trust as your agent, as in the wrong hands a POA can be abused for financial gain. A skillful and experienced attorney can create a power of attorney that protects your family’s financial security.
Grandparents and Powers of Attorney
Often, you think of senior citizens as the principals in powers of attorney. But when might they need to be the agent?
Some grandparents have physical custody of their grandchildren. This means that their grandchildren live with them, and they are responsible for their day-to-day care. Although the parents may have asked for this kind of temporary arrangement, it is important that the grandparents have authorization for any necessary medical care, particularly in emergencies.
A power of attorney can give grandparents legal authority to take care of the grandchildren’s medical needs. In many cases this will be a notarized form, signed by the parents, that remains in effect either until a date stated on the form, or it is revoked by the parents.
In some cases wherein the parents cannot be found, grandparents may file an affidavit that grants them a power of attorney.
Towson Power of Attorney Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Assist in Obtaining Powers of Attorney
Everyone should have the peace of mind of knowing their affairs are in order should they become unexpectedly incapacitated. The experienced Towson power of attorney lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC can assist you with a power of attorney or any other family law matter. To schedule your free confidential consultation, submit an online inquiry form or call us today at 443-589-0150. Our offices are conveniently located in Towson and Hunt Valley, Maryland to serve clients throughout the state including the communities of Cockeysville, Lutherville Timonium, Upper Falls, Phoenix, Riderwood, Sparks Glencoe, Brooklandville, Butler, Stevenson, Glyndon, Monkton, Reisterstown, Pikesville, Owings Mills, Parkville, Boring, Glen Arm, Baldwin, Upperco, and Hyde.