A Power of Attorney is a legal document in which you appoint someone as your agent with the authority to make decisions for you that are in your best interests. The authority that you provide can relate to your financial or medical affairs, and the decisions that your agent may make are as binding as if you made them yourself. For these reasons, it is important that the person you choose as your agent is trustworthy and responsible.
Many people think that they do not need a Power of Attorney now because they can handle their own affairs. This view may be shortsighted, as unanticipated circumstances may occur at any time that might render you unable to manage your affairs. If such circumstances do occur, it may be too late to execute a Power of Attorney, as you must be able to understand the nature of the authority you are conveying for the Power of Attorney to be effective. If you should become incapacitated without a Power of Attorney in place, it may be necessary for someone else to file a legal action on your behalf to request the court to appoint a guardian for you. The appointment of a guardian is much more complex, time-consuming and expensive process than executing a Power of Attorney and may result in the court choosing your representative, rather than you.
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