You should have a power of attorney if:
· You want to assign a representative for yourself should someone else need to act on your behalf in the future.
· You have been diagnosed with a serious illness.
· You have children that must be provided for if you become incapacitated.
· You have a business or property that must be maintained if you are unable to manage your own affairs.
· You want to assign someone to be able to make decisions on your behalf for other reasons.
Why Have a Power of Attorney?
There are many reasons to sign a properly-drafted power of attorney as part of your estate plan:
· You will likely avoid burdensome court-supervised guardianship proceedings that would otherwise be necessary if you become incapacitated. Guardianship proceedings can be expensive and embarrassing since they are matters of public record. Additionally, costs quickly mount if relatives disagree with each other.
· You can designate the person who will handle your affairs if you become incapacitated.
· You can authorize your agent in your power of attorney to engage in tax planning and Medicaid planning techniques that they would not be able to perform in a guardianship proceeding.
Justin T. Crain is an estate planning attorney in the Plano, Texas office of Thomas Walters Estate Planning where he provides legal services including Wills, Trusts, Gun Trusts, Guardianship Administration, Probate, Estate Administration, Medicaid Planning and Nursing Home Planning to those in the surrounding areas of North Texas.