People of all backgrounds have important business, legal or financial matters to tend to. If an accident or illness renders you unable to manage your own assets, it may become apparent how quickly any lifestyle can fall into chaos without proper oversight.
Adding a power of attorney to your estate plan is a strong protective measure against future uncertainties, but it is important to understand when the time is right to name your attorney in fact.
What happens if you do not have a power of attorney?
A power of attorney document legally assigns your named individual, referred to as an attorney in fact, to oversee your affairs in the event of incapacitation or other conditions that limit your capability. Without this document in place, the court may appoint its own choice of a guardian over your affairs who might not handle your affairs in a manner aligned with your wishes.
How early should you give power of attorney in your estate plan?
Giving a trusted individual power of attorney as part of your estate plan ensures that they can immediately assume authority over important matters as soon as the need arises. If you do not have a power of attorney in place when something goes wrong, it may be too late for a loved one or confidant to advocate for you in the way you would wish. That is one reason to start an estate plan as early as possible, even as a young adult, and to include a power of attorney as part of that plan.
Life is unpredictable and tragedy can, unfortunately, strike when you least expect it. Adding a power of attorney to your estate plan early in life can ensure the protection of your assets no matter when the worst might occur.