When Should You Give Someone Power of Attorney

When you give someone power of attorney, you legally designate that person to.make medical, legal, and financial decisions on your behalf. A power of attorney can be specific to one type of decision or can be all-encompassing. While a power of attorney can be helpful to many, the question still remains as to when you should give power of attorney to another person to make decisions for you? There are many situations that can arise when a power of attorney can help and an estate planning lawyer can set up a power of attorney that best fits your needs.


Types of Power of Attorney

There are many types of power of attorney that can be utilized in different situations. A conventional power of attorney gives a person discretion to make certain decisions on your behalf until you become mentally or physically unable to make your own decisions.

A durable power of attorney stays in effect for your lifetime even if an incapacitating event takes place. A springing power of attorney only becomes valid if a specific event takes place, such as an accident that results in incapacitation. A medical power of attorney, also known as a healthcare proxy, is specific only to medical decisions when you are unable to make those decisions for yourself.


Travel and Military Service Abroad

It may be in your best interest to give someone power of attorney if you travel abroad extensively or anticipate military service that will involve time outside of the United States. A power of attorney can manage financial affairs while travelling, especially if there is no spouse to handle those affairs in the United States.

For military personnel, giving someone a power of attorney before leaving for active duty can protect their family and make sure someone is at home making decisions in their best interest. It also grants decision-making authority in the unfortunate case of physical or mental incapacitation from battle or other military engagement to ensure that your healthcare decisions are carried out when you are home.


Elderly Physical and Mental Health Issues

The most common reason to give someone the power of attorney is to handle decisions for elderly loved ones that may be experiencing physical or mental health issues. By designating someone with power of attorney, someone suffering from dementia or other health issue can ensure that their directives and decisions are being carried out even if they are incapacitated and cannot give those directives themselves.

By entrusting someone with power of attorney, that person can pay medical bills, sell assets to pay for care, manage financial affairs for Medicare and Medicaid planning, ensure healthcare directives are carried out, and manage family interests when you are no longer able to do so yourself.


Call an Estate Planning Attorney

If you are interested in setting up a power of attorney for yourself or a loved one, an experienced estate planning attorney will be able to help. To schedule a consultation with one of our Virginia estate planning attorneys, contact Select Law Partners at 540.642.1766.

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Sara Josey

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