Foresight – The Power of a Power of Attorney

Posted on January 18, 2012 by admin | Posted in Highlights

The Power of a Power of Attorney

Surely you’ve had or heard of one of those “life is strange” experiences, where someone has a sudden illness or an unplanned turn of events that changes things in a big way. One of the best ways to get through these unexpected times is with a power of attorney — a document that gives another person the right to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself.

What?

Powers of attorney are very flexible. They can be written broadly or narrowly, depending on your needs. They can also be “springing,” or triggered by specific circumstances, such as an illness or inability to communicate. As you work with your advisors to craft the document, you can determine exactly how you want the document to work.

Your power of attorney document should be drafted by a lawyer. Because the document involves your finances, it should also include input from your CA.

Note: The designated “attorney” you give power to doesn’t have to be a lawyer. He or she can be your spouse, business partner or trusted advisor — whoever you feel is best suited to make the decisions you describe in the document.

Why?

When bad things happen, decisions are often delayed because there’s nothing in place that dictates who has the legal authority to make them. This lack of clarity can cause financial hardships, stress and risk of litigation for your family.

Think of it this way: If you don’t designate someone as your power of attorney, you may be leaving it in the hands of a judge to decide who should manage your affairs. And the person a judge chooses may or may not be who you would choose.

Who?

Now! You should draft these documents while you are still capable of making sound decisions. You can always amend them later, while you are still alive and able to communicate. And be sure to keep the documents up to date, especially if you get married or divorced or there’s a change in business circumstances.

Life is unpredictable. You never know what might happen, so expect the unexpected and choose your power of attorney now.

Don’t delay these important decisions. Contact us today to discuss your power of attorney documents.