What the Heck is a Power of Attorney and Why Do I Need One?

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Let’s start with what a Power of Attorney is first.

A Power of Attorney is a document that you sign basically giving somebody else permission or authority to stand in your shoes and make decisions or access certain things for you.

So, usually when somebody is talking about a Power of Attorney, they are referring to a situation where someone has become elderly and perhaps forgetful or dealing with signs of dementia or something of that sort.

We often hear about someone needing a power of attorney, because he has some sort of medical incapacity that doesn’t allow him to make decisions for himself. But, the truth of the matter is that Powers of Attorney can be used in lots of different situations.

A Power of Attorney is different from an Advance Health Care Directive.

A Power of Attorney deals only with financial issues.  If you are looking for information about medical or health care issues, then watch for our blog on Advance Health Care Directives.

This post is about dealing with your real estate, your taxes, your bank accounts, etc. So, if something were to happen to you and you were, let’s say, in a coma, then whoever you have designated could sign your checks for you to pay your water bill. That person could sign off on your taxes or take care of maintaining your house on your behalf. So, a Power of Attorney deals with your assets and the like.

An Advance Health Care Directive deals with your medical decisions and the health care of your body. So, one deals with your stuff and one deals with your body.

The Power of Attorney that we are talking about today is the one deals with your stuff, not your body.

Now, there are occasions when the powers are given while someone is still able to make decisions. For instance, I was contacted by a buddy of mine once because he and his wife had purchased a car online in a different city and when the day came for them to drive to that city to pick up the car and sign all of the purchase documents, he was unable to go because of work obligations.

However, he wanted to make sure that the car was also going to be titled in his name and that he also would be liable for that debt. So, while he was completely healthy and very young, he had a Power of Attorney drafted up appointing his wife as his agent and giving her the authority and power to sign those documents on his behalf.

His wife was able to go to the other city along with that Power of Attorney and sign all of the documents required for purchasing the car in both her name and her husband’s name as well. Now that was a situation where he absolutely had the capacity to sign those documents himself, he just was unavailable to do so because he couldn’t be there in person.

So, why should you get a Power of Attorney done today?

One of the reasons to get a Power of Attorney right now, even if you don’t plan on becoming sick or unavailable, is to get something in place so if something does happen to you, your affairs are covered.

If you don’t have a Power of Attorney and you become incapacitated, your family or your friends will be required to file a case and go to the courthouse asking a judge to appoint someone to have the same authority.

Going to the courthouse can take time, be expensive and doesn’t guarantee that the judge will appoint the same person that you would choose.

So, make sure you are the person who chooses the one that gets your authority.  Getting a Power of Attorney through Legalfy It is easy, quick and so much more cost effective than a court case. This is your opportunity to save your family and your friends the cost and the hassle of having to have a judge appoint somebody for you.

By the way, a person appointed under a Power of Attorney is not the same as an Executor or a Personal Representative of your estate. A Power of Attorney expires upon your death and is only effective during the time period in which you are unable to take care of your own affairs.  An Executor, or Personal Representative is someone you designate in your Last Will & Testament to distribute your estate after your death. So here, with Legalfy It, we offer Powers of Attorney.

If you purchase a Power of Attorney package, then all you would have to do is answer a few questions and we would produce the paperwork for you.  You would print it out, sign it in front of a Notary Public and you are all set to go!

You’ve got it in case you need it.  In the event that something occurs that would require somebody to stand in your shoes, they are able to do so.

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