I’m Doug Jackson, founding attorney of The Law Firm of Douglas G. Jackson. Today, I want to tell you about what might be the single most important part of an estate plan for most regular, hard-working Americans. Today, I’m going to talk to you about a Power of Attorney.
What is a power of attorney? Does it mean that you hired a lawyer? Nope. A power of attorney, albeit a strange name, is a document that gives another the legal power to act on your behalf. Yes, it’s a little like hiring an actual attorney, but different. For example, as an actual attorney, I can make some legal motions on your behalf and give you advice. But, if you gave someone a Power of Attorney, they could potentially access your accounts on your behalf, make purchases on your behalf, sign documents on your behalf, and even make certain decisions on your behalf.
I know what you’re thinking…. That seems like a lot of power to give someone. Why would I want to give that to a person. Well, there are many reasons. Sometimes, you might be too busy to do something. Maybe you want to purchase a piece of property, but can’t attend the closing. However, for most regular, hard working Americans, the reason a Power of Attorney is so important is because if you become incapacitated, someone can access things on your behalf.
Let’s be honest, we aren’t planning for bad things to happen to us, nor should we be planning for it. Yet, we should be ready for it. What would happen if you got into a car accident on your way to the convenience store today? What if you were unconscious for multiple days and in the hospital for weeks or months. Who would pay your bills? Well, if you gave a friend or loved one Power of Attorney, that person could do it for you. That’s why this is such an important document; nobody is planning to have something bad happen where that person becomes incapacitated, but it could happen, and you should be ready for it if it does.
I know what you’re thinking, “Can I limit it so it only applies if I become incapacitated?” The answer is, “Yes!” You can also limit it so a person can only take certain actions on your behalf. Also, once you give someone Power of Attorney, you can also revoke it. That’s what makes this such a powerful document and such an important piece of an estate plan.
Most average, hard-working Americans should have this in their estate plan. Yes, even if you don’t have a lot, you should be ready for if something bad happens to you. Don’t plan for something bad, but have a plan ready for if something bad does happen. It make your life easier if the worst happens, and, maybe more importantly, it will make the lives of your family and friends easier if something bad happens, too.
Consider getting a Power of Attorney…. And remember….
Get Your Legal Action with the Law Firm of Douglas G. Jackson!