As you age, you will eventually be faced with the choice of whether to have a durable power of attorney. This arrangement can assist you with some of the challenges of your senior years and provide peace of mind for yourself and your family. But, is it absolutely necessary to have a power of attorney? Are there other ways to plan for your senior years?
What is a Durable Power of Attorney?
A durable power of attorney is a document that designates a trusted friend or family member as your representative in the event you become incapacitated. If you are unable to make decisions regarding your medical care, finances, and other items, the person you have designated as your power of attorney can do it for you.
The “durable” part of the name denotes the fact that your designee’s powers will continue even in the event you are no longer able to communicate your approval of his or her status as your agent. This arrangement can be invaluable in the event you become mentally incapacitated and thus unable to make decisions for yourself.
Do You Have to Have a Durable Power of Attorney?
There is no law that requires someone to have a durable power of attorney. In that sense, it is not something that you must do. On the other hand, given the challenges that could arise in the event of your incapacitation, it just makes sense to grant durable power of attorney powers to someone you trust.
If you do not have a durable power of attorney and something happens to you, your family may end up in court trying to obtain the rights to make even the most basic decisions on your behalf. By taking just a few minutes today, you can help avoid these issues if you lose the ability to make decisions for yourself.