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.