Power of Attorney Protects You in Pennsylvania Estate Planning
No one wants to think that there could be a time when they would be unable to care for themselves or make decisions on their own behalf. Unfortunately, this situation can happen at any at any age, due to medical conditions or accidental injuries. At Egbert & Barnes, P.C., our goal as estate planning attorneys is to help you prepare for the unexpected. Having professionally drafted power of attorney documents in place plays an important role in these preparations.
Why Power of Attorney Is Important
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 50 million people in the United States live with some type of disability. Roughly one out of every five people will become disabled at some point in their lifetime, and this figure increases to one out of every three among those aged 65 or older.
When disabilities due to injuries, illnesses, or chronic conditions cause you to be unable to care for yourself, to make decisions on your own, or to communicate your wishes to others, having power of attorney documents in place becomes vitally important. This ensures that:
- Your property and assets are protected;
- Your bills and other financial matters are attended to;
- Medical decisions are made on your behalf, by someone you trust to act in accordance with your wishes.
Types of Power of Attorney to Consider
Under guidelines listed in Chapter 56 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, power of attorney documents list you as the principal, and the party you authorize to make decisions on your behalf as your agent, or ‘attorney in fact’. Depending on the type of power of attorney you create, you may want to name a friend or family member, or a business associate or other professional, such as an accountant or lawyer.
The American Association of Retired People (AARP) recommends utilizing these documents as part of your overall estate planning. There are two basic types of power of attorney, or POA, to consider:
- Financial Power of Attorney: This grants your agent authority to make decisions regarding your finances, which includes paying debts and managing income, businesses, property, and investments.
- Health Care Power of Attorney: Known as an advance directive, this grants authority for making healthcare decisions on your behalf, including life support and end of life care.
Power of attorney can take effect when a specific event occurs, such as an accident or when a loved one enters a nursing home, or it can extend over the person’s lifetime, being used when needed.
Get Help in Creating Power of Attorney and Other Estate Planning Documents
For guidance in creating a power of attorney or other important documents to ensure you and your loved ones are protected, contact Egbert & Barnes, P.C. and request a free consultation. Our Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys have over 60 years combined experience. We pride ourselves in offering the kind of professional legal representation you might receive at larger firms, but with more personalized service and affordable prices. Call or contact us online to request an appointment today.