What Do You Need to Know About Powers of Attorney As You Age?

Posted on: 15 November 2022

In life, you may sometimes have to make difficult decisions as you grow older. Unfortunately, some people start to lose their mental acuity and may need to think very carefully about their financial future and their estate. If you're in this situation, what type of support can you put in place that will help to manage your affairs should you not be in a position to do so?

Dealing with Powers of Attorney

In most cases, you should look at appointing a power of attorney. There are different ways to approach this task, and you can allocate various powers while also deciding when the work should commence in accordance with the terms.

Different Types

For example, you may want to appoint an enduring power of attorney. This is a legal document that gives power to a separate individual to control your affairs if you are unable to do so yourself. You could also consider a general power of attorney, which is slightly different. This comes into force from the date it is signed but stops on the day you are judged by a medical professional to have lost mental capacity. In this case, you cannot make your own decisions.

Handling Financial and Medical Matters

You could give another individual (such as an accountant or lawyer) the power to handle your financial affairs. This could include the ability to buy or sell property, stocks and shares or other assets. It can also give power over your bank account and the ability to settle bills on your behalf. This could be particularly important when it comes to settling the affairs of your estate.

Medical powers of attorney give another individual the authority to manage your health affairs, including the type of medical care you may receive.

Operating within the Rules

In every case, the entity appointed to make the decisions must operate within a strict set of guidelines. Clear will be a limit to what they can do and what they cannot do, but they will always need to act in your best interests. They must adhere to any specific written instructions that you have made prior to their appointment.

Remember that a will only comes into effect once you have died, and you will have appointed a separate executor to manage and distribute your assets.

Getting Expert Guidance

It's always best to discuss these options with a legal expert and other members of your immediate family. You will get better insight into the pros and cons of writing these powers of attorney and further guidance about handling your estate's distribution. 

For more information, contact a local firm like Neilson Stanton & Parkinson.


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