Crafting a will involves more than just the distribution of assets and belongings. One often overlooked but essential element is the inclusion of a power of attorney.
This legal document grants someone you trust the authority to make decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so yourself. While this may not seem like a priority when you start your estate plan, there are reasons to consider it sooner rather than later.
Ensuring the honoring of your wishes
The American Bar Association explains that a power of attorney allows you to choose who will act for you while defining their authority and its limits. Including a power of attorney in your will ensures that a trusted individual will honor your wishes, even if you are unable to act on your own behalf.
Managing finances and legal matters
Financial and legal matters can become complex, especially during times of illness or incapacity. By appointing someone to hold power of attorney, you empower them to manage your finances, pay bills and handle legal affairs according to your instructions. You may also empower this individual to make medical choices on your behalf, taking your preferences and values into account.
Avoiding family disputes
Without a clear power of attorney, family members may face disagreements about decision-making responsibilities. This may lead to heated disputes and legal complications. Including a POA in your will can prevent such conflicts and provide a clear framework for decision-making.
A power of attorney safeguards your interests and provides a reliable framework for decision-making. Taking this step adds an extra layer of security to your estate planning, contributing to a comprehensive and well-thought-out legacy.