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What is a power of attorney and how does it work?

| Nov 18, 2019 | Estate Planning |

A power of attorney can benefit you in several ways, regardless of where you are in life. Think of a power of attorney as a legal means of putting someone else, known as an agent, in charge of your assets or decision-making if you become physically or mentally incapable of doing so.

A power of attorney usually begins in your incapacitation, but it does not have to. In fact, you may set the stipulations for when and how your chosen power of attorney agent begins their responsibilities. Many people find it helpful to set these up for aging loved ones as well as those who are victims of dementia.

The agent’s responsibilities may vary depending on circumstances and details in the documents themselves. You may elect to draft a health care power of attorney, for instance, which may be drafted with a living will. A health care power of attorney gives decision-making authority to your agent regarding medical care should you become unable to make such decisions on your own. Note also that Mississippi adopted an act that regulates health care power of attorneys.

Why should I get a power of attorney?

There are many reasons to include a power of attorney, especially regarding your estate planning. First and foremost, you simply do not know what the future may hold. Having a power of attorney can provide you with peace of mind over your assets and health care future. Similarly, a power of attorney gives you a sense of control over your future that you might not otherwise have should you become incapacitated prior to drafting one. Consider reaching out to an estate planning lawyer or an otherwise qualified professional for further assistance.