Caring for an aging loved one can be a difficult and emotional process. There are many important legal and financial decisions your Wisconsin family will have to make on behalf of a parent or other person who needs assistance, and it’s important to have the right documents to do this. Power of attorney is critical if you are caring for someone else.
A power of attorney is a type of estate planning document that can grant someone the authority to make certain types of decisions on behalf of someone else. There is a general power of attorney, which covers many financial and legal matters. There is also a more limited power of attorney, which only covers specifically mentioned issues, such as medical decisions. It’s smart to take the time to completely understand what a power of attorney can and cannot do.
The truth about POAs
When properly drafted, powers of attorney can be a useful tool that you can use to help meet the needs of your loved one. However, people frequently misunderstand how these types of documents work. If you are caring for someone who needs assistance or you may have to help a loved one in the future, it can be useful to make sure you understand the following about POAs:
- While it is possible to draft a POA using a do-it-yourself program on the internet, that is never the optimal choice. It is always prudent to work with an experienced attorney.
- There is not really a one-size-fits-all POA. The right option depends on the circumstances of the individual situation.
- The person who has the power of attorney always has the obligation to act in the best interests of the principal.
- A person must be legally competent to sign a power of attorney.
Whether you are drafting a power of attorney as part of your own estate plan or a loved one wants to name you as an agent under a power of attorney, you will find it significantly beneficial to learn exactly how these documents work.
Estate planning guidance
Before you make any important decisions that could affect your future or your loved one’s future, you will find it helpful to start with a complete evaluation of your case. Knowing as much as you can about powers of attorney can help you make smart choices that will provide protection and support for years to come.