Life can throw you a curve when you least expect it. You might suffer a serious illness or become the victim of an accident that leaves you incapacitated.

The powers of attorney for healthcare and finances are estate planning tools that will help you and your family cope in an emergency situation.

Powers of attorney explained

You can create one power of attorney for healthcare and another for finances and appoint a trusted friend or relative to make medical or financial decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. A durable POA goes into effect as soon as you sign it and remains in effect even if you remain healthy throughout your life. However, another type of POA called a springing power of attorney only goes into effect when you become incapacitated. You must specify the kind of event that would activate this power.

POAs for seniors

Because of the possibility of dementia, seniors interested in POAs for healthcare and finances must create these documents while they are still mentally sound. Otherwise, they will not stand up in court if challenged.

A look ahead

You may feel that in creating a power of attorney you give up a certain amount of independence and control over your life. On the other hand, you can look at POAs as safeguards in the event you are no longer capable of making the important decisions your life requires. With appropriate legal guidance, you can become more comfortable with the powers of attorney for healthcare and finances. Remember that you can revise or revoke a POA at any time as long as you are mentally competent.