You may be close to retirement and considering estate plan options. On the other hand, you might be a new employee with a young family to think about.
No matter what your age, it is a good idea to look into creating both a health care proxy and a financial power of attorney. Life is full of unexpected events, and preparing for the unknown will give you peace of mind.
The health care proxy
You may be familiar with a health care proxy by the title of ‘medical power of attorney.’ The objective is the same: to name a trusted relative or friend to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself. If you become incapacitated, the agent you appoint can step up to work with your doctor and other medical professionals on everything from surgeries and assisted living care to end-of-life decisions according to your wishes in a health care proxy.
The financial POA
The financial power of attorney (POA) will allow your agent to manage your day-to-day finances, pay bills and file tax returns on your behalf. He or she can also manage your property, your investments and apply for the government benefits you want such as Medicaid.
The proactive approach
No matter what your age, you should not delay in creating your health care proxy and financial POA. You never know when a debilitating accident or illness may strike. If you are a senior citizen, now is the time to act. With age comes the potential for some form of dementia. Your proxy and POA will only be legal if you are mentally competent when you sign the documents.