Have you thought about the consequences for you and your family if you were suddenly incapacitated due to an accident or illness?
Powers of attorney act as safeguards in terms of your medical and financial needs. Making sure you have them will put your mind at ease.
The idea behind creating a power of attorney (POA) for healthcare is to ensure you have the kind of medical care you want in the event you become incapacitated and cannot speak for yourself. The healthcare POA enables you to name a trustworthy relative or friend to act on your behalf. He or she will become your agent and make healthcare decisions for you. If you recover from your medical issue, you simply resume making your own decisions.
Similar to the healthcare POA, the POA for finances allows someone you trust to manage your legal and financial affairs if you cannot do so yourself. For seniors who just need extra help when it comes to tasks such as paying bills or balancing a checkbook, a financial POA can be especially useful.
About an early signing
Should you become incapacitated for any reason, having POAs for healthcare and finances will spare the members of your family from having to seek guardianship through the Orphans’ Court. These documents also allow you to decide who you want helping with medical and financial decisions, not a judge. Anyone over the age of 18 should have powers of attorney. Keep in mind that age may bring some type of cognitive impairment. As the principal, you must prepare and sign powers of attorney while you have the capacity to do so. So, the sooner you have these important documents prepared, the better for your peace of mind.