Our Raleigh-area clients often ask us whether a power of attorney is vital. In a word, yes. A power of attorney gives a person the power to make decisions on behalf of someone else and can be very important for many reasons.
Here are three instances where a power of attorney is vital:
- College-aged children: This time of year, we’re seeing lots of college-bound kids. If that college kid became incapacitated for whatever reason, if they are at least 18 years of age, parents are legally unable to make choices for their care and their affairs. Working with the school to withdraw from classes, making medical choices, or having bills transferred would be near impossible for parents unless they have a power of attorney set up.
- Spouses: Generally speaking, when a person dies their estate goes to their spouse. However, about when that person is alive but unable to make decisions? Military deployment, work travel, health or mental incapacitation are common occurrences where someone isn’t able to make choices for themselves. Without a power of attorney, a spouse cannot make those choices on their behalf.
- Other loved ones: As parents age, they need help from others to make financial and health decisions. To be able to fully take on these responsibilities, the person in charge needs a power of attorney in place. In the case of aging parents, it’s important to establish power of attorney while they are still of sound mind. Power of attorney is also used in situations where someone needs to make decisions on behalf of an adult, such as an incapacitated sibling.
Keep in mind that it might be beneficial to have separate people have power of attorney over health and financial affairs, although sometimes, such as in the case of a spouse, it’s common to have one person have both. Contact Thornton Law Firm to set up a power of attorney in the Raleigh area.