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3 reasons people add powers of attorney to their estate plans

On Behalf of | May 14, 2024 | Estate Planning

Estate planning is often a vulnerable process. People have to consider very unpleasant scenarios, including their death. Too many people stop at planning for their eventual demise and do not address scenarios in which they might be legally vulnerable.

A medical emergency that puts someone in the hospital for weeks could leave them incapable of handling their own affairs. The estate plan that they previously created might be the only legal source of protection in that difficult situation. Powers of attorney are among the resources that can help those struggling with medical challenges.

Why do many people choose to add powers of attorney to their estate plans?

A history of chronic medical challenges

For someone who has dealt with multiple sclerosis or a similar degenerative condition for years, their health could be precarious. They may have already experienced multiple hospitalizations and similar emergencies. Those who recognize that their health could change with little warning may understand how important powers of attorney could be for their protection. An agent or attorney-in-fact can make medical decisions for someone dealing with chronic health challenges and could also manage the financial needs of it is someone currently incapable of paying their bills.

Concern about financial stability

Some people have remained relatively healthy throughout their lives, but they understand that their finances require constant maintenance. Those with mortgages, credit cards and other financial obligations could be a single missed payment away from facing creditor lawsuits or the loss of key personal resources. People who worry about their finances, especially if they do not have a spouse, may add a power of attorney to their estate plans to protect against future hardship.

Concerns about advanced age

Many people only begin thinking about incapacity and the need for protection when their health declines due to age. For other people, it might be a diagnosis of a serious medical issue, like cancer, that makes them consider the possibility of incapacity. Those preparing for retirement may want to add powers of attorney to their estate plans. Particularly if people worry about dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, durable powers of attorney can protect them from the risk of permanent incapacitation and the vulnerability that follows.

Choosing appropriate estate planning documents can protect people from a variety of different situations. Those who add powers of attorney to their estate plans can benefit from certain kinds of protection even when they cannot manage their own affairs.