You’ve probably heard that a last will and testament is one of the most important estate planning documents you can have. While this is certainly true, it can be a mistake to overlook key estate planning documents that should supplement the statements in your will like a power of attorney. Everyone should have a POA document regardless of your age, because it’s critical to ensure your wishes are carried out if you can’t speak for yourself.
A power of attorney names an agent, also known as an attorney in fact, to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so or in specific circumstances. There can be many complicated questions around this process and it is important to appoint a party who is comfortable in serving in this role and someone you trust. A few different issues can arise if you do not have a POA document.
The judicial steps that lead to the appointment of another party can take some time. This can drain your friends and family of money and time at a difficult time in your life when you are incapacitated. The second major disadvantage of skipping a power of attorney is that you have no say in who your agent will be. The court will have authority to appoint someone to act on your behalf and even in the event that this person is close to you, they may not be responsible enough to make proper decisions.
That’s why it’s a good idea to exercise control over these concerns by establishing a power of attorney document. Schedule a time to sit down with your estate planning lawyer in Virginia Beach, VA to walk through the options.