You and many other Utah residents may think of estate planning as a way to detail who should get your property after you die. However, estate planning also has many other purposes. In fact, the information you put into your estate plan could go into effect before your death under certain circumstances.
Preparing for the unexpected
Because certain unexpected situations can arise, looking into various planning options may be beneficial. One planning tool you may wish to learn more about is a power of attorney document.
In the event that you become incapacitated due to illness, injury or other circumstances that result in your inability to make personal decisions, a power of attorney gives another individual the power to make those decisions on your behalf.
Health and financial decision-making
A power of attorney may be referred to by a range of different terms. Whatever you want to call it, the document allows you to choose who you want to take on the role of decision-maker.
Without this document, a court will appoint someone to make decisions for you should you become incapacitated. As a result, someone you may not have chosen yourself could suddenly be in charge of important areas of your life. By planning ahead, you can ensure that someone you trust acts as agent.
Generally, you can appoint one person to handle both your financial decisions and your health care decisions. You may also choose two separate individuals to handle each area separately.
The amount of power your agent has depends on which details you put into your power of attorney document. Planning ahead gives you the ability to control what authority your agent has over designated decisions.
Creating your powers of attorney
Because the responsibility placed on an individual or individuals given power of attorney authority is substantial, discuss these matters with your potential candidates. Some people may not feel ready or able to take on such a role, and you may need to consider others to take their places.
In order to ensure that your powers of attorney are legally binding, take the proper steps to create your document. Although you may be able to simply add a power of attorney document to your existing estate plan, you may need to consider various factors and make sure that you have met state regulations for making such appointments.