Why You Should Execute a Power of Attorney

Written by Natalie C. Lashway | nlashway@farr.com

 

Attorney Natalie C. Lashway Family Law Attorney

Natalie C. Lashway, Attorney
Natalie’s practice focuses on marital & family law, elder law and civil litigation.

A Power of Attorney (POA) names another person to act as the principal’s attorney-in-fact or agent.  The attorney-in-fact generally has the power to make decisions regarding the principal’s finances and property.  A POA can be made effective upon execution or upon the principal’s incapacity.  Why should you execute a POA?  We never know when we may become incapacitated.  Executing a POA now is cheaper, easier, and ensures that you get what you want.  A POA can only be executed by a competent person.  If it is not executed before losing capacity, a guardianship action may be required.  In a guardianship action, a court gets the final say regarding who gets to make decisions on your behalf.  It is especially important to execute a POA if you are not married to your significant other, but would want him/her to be the person making these kinds of decisions for you, as an unmarried significant other may not have any rights in a guardianship action.  For more information regarding POAs, please see http://www.abanet.org/rppt/public/power-of-atty.html.