An Explanation of Power of Attorney and why Everyone Should Establish It

Chances are you have heard of the term “power of attorney,” yet you probably don’t understand what it really means and why it is so important.  Our Monroe LA estate planning attorney is here to break down the nuanced complexities of this estate planning tool, explaining exactly how it can benefit you down the line.

Defining Power of Attorney

An Explanation of Power of Attorney and why Everyone Should Establish It with Niswanger Law in Monroe, LA; image of middle aged woman and older gentleman couple having a discussion with a younger male lawyer

Power of attorney is an important legal tool that empowers an individual to select another individual or entity to act on their behalf in the event of incapacitation or senility.  The individual appointed to act on one’s behalf administers their affairs.  The individual provided with such authority over the person’s affairs after incapacity or severe illness is referred to as the attorney-in-fact.  The individual who creates a power of attorney is the principal.  However, the power of attorney legal document will only be effective when the principal is alive.  The principal can only enact this legal document if they are mentally competent.  If this individual is alleged to be mentally incompetent, a legal battle could ensure. 

Creating a power of attorney document with the guidance of Niswanger Law’s Monroe, LA attorney does not relinquish control over decision-making and how assets are used.  Rather, this legal tool is only used when one becomes mentally or physically incapable of handling personal, financial, and legal affairs.

Why You Need Power of Attorney

Though you are likely fairly healthy and sane at the current moment, there is no guarantee you will be mentally and physically sound in the months, years, and decades ahead.  There is no sense in moving forward without a plan.  Use your mind’s eye to envision what might occur if you become severely ill, incapacitated, or develop dementia.  Someone in your family or social circle could easily take advantage of you.  Furthermore, there would be potential drama and conflicts on how your financial and legal matters will be handled.  Instead of forcing your loved ones to deal with such uncertainty and put your hard-earned assets in jeopardy, the better approach is to establish a power of attorney with Niswanger Law in Monroe, LA.

Once your power of attorney is in place, the individual you select will act in your interest should you no longer be capable of doing so yourself.  This individual will make medical, financial, and legal decisions on your behalf.  Communicate your desires for how your financial, legal, and personal matters are to be handled. The individual you entrust with this responsibility will have a clear understanding of your intentions and desires.  In the end, establishing power of attorney as a component of overarching estate planning during your healthy adult years ultimately provides truly invaluable peace of mind in the years ahead. You will age peacefully and confidently after Niswanger Law establishes your power of attorney.

Schedule Your Consultation at Niswanger Law

If you do not have an estate plan in place or if your estate plan is incomplete, reach out to Niswanger Law in Monroe, LA, today.  We provide comprehensive estate planning for Monroe-area residents.  Contact us today at 318.953.0071 to schedule an estate planning consultation.