Wisconsin | Minnesota | Illinois | California 414-253-8500

What is a Power of Attorney and Why Do I Need One?

It is important to understand what a power of attorney is and why you might need one. A power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to designate another person to act on your behalf in legal, financial, or other matters. In this article, we will explain what a power of attorney is, how it works, and why it is important to have one.

Understanding Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document that grants someone else the authority to act on your behalf. There are different types of power of attorney, but the most common are financial power of attorney and medical power of attorney.

A financial power of attorney allows someone else to make financial decisions for you, such as paying bills or managing your investments. A medical power of attorney allows someone else to make medical decisions for you, such as choosing the type of medical treatment you receive.

Why Do I Need a Power of Attorney?

There are several reasons why you might need a power of attorney. For example:

  1. If you become incapacitated - If you are unable to make decisions for yourself due to an illness or injury, a power of attorney can ensure that your affairs are handled by someone you trust.

  2. If you are out of the country - If you travel frequently or live outside of the country, a power of attorney can allow someone else to handle your affairs in your absence.

  3. If you want to plan for the future - Creating a power of attorney can help you plan for the future and ensure that your affairs are handled according to your wishes.

  4. If you want to avoid court proceedings - If you do not have a power of attorney and become incapacitated, a court may need to appoint a guardian to manage your affairs. This can be costly and time-consuming, and the guardian may not be someone you would have chosen yourself.

How to Create a Power of Attorney

To create a power of attorney, you will need to follow certain steps. Here's how to get started:

  1. Choose an agent - The first step in creating a power of attorney is to choose an agent. Your agent should be someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf.

  2. Choose the type of power of attorney - Next, you will need to choose the type of power of attorney you want to create. You can create a financial power of attorney, medical power of attorney, or both.

  3. Draft the document - Once you have chosen your agent and the type of power of attorney you want to create, you will need to draft the document. You should hire an attorney to draft the document for you.

  4. Sign and notarize the document - Once the document is drafted, you will need to sign and notarize it. This will make it legally binding.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Agent

When creating a power of attorney, choosing the right agent is crucial. Your agent should be someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf and act in your best interests. It is important to choose someone who is responsible and reliable, as well as someone who understands your wishes and values.

It is also important to have a backup agent in case your primary agent is unable to act. This can ensure that your affairs are still handled according to your wishes even if something happens to your primary agent.

The Benefits of Having a Power of Attorney

Having a power of attorney can provide several benefits, including:

  1. Peace of mind - Knowing that your affairs are taken care of by someone you trust can provide peace of mind.

  2. Avoiding court proceedings - Creating a power of attorney can help you avoid costly and time-consuming court proceedings in the event that you become incapacitated.

  3. Planning for the future - Creating a power of attorney can help you plan for the future and ensure that your affairs are handled according to your wishes.

Contact a Power of Attorney Attorney

Creating a power of attorney can be a complex process, and it is important to ensure that the document is legally binding and that your wishes are properly represented. At Heritage Law Office, our experienced attorneys can help you create a power of attorney that meets your needs and ensures that your affairs are handled according to your wishes.

Contact our power of attorney attorney today by calling 414-253-8500 or filling out our online form to schedule a free consultation. We will thoroughly review your needs and wants when planning your power of attorney and provide an outline of your best options.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to authorize another person to act on your behalf in various matters. This can include financial decisions, medical choices, and legal actions. The person you appoint to act in this role is referred to as an "agent" or "attorney-in-fact."

2. What types of Power of Attorney exist?

There are two main types of Power of Attorney: financial and medical. A financial Power of Attorney gives the designated individual the authority to manage your finances, such as paying bills or handling investments. A medical Power of Attorney, on the other hand, empowers the appointed individual to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are incapable of doing so.

3. Why might I need a Power of Attorney?

There are several reasons why you might need a Power of Attorney. This includes planning for situations where you might become incapacitated due to illness or injury, or if you're frequently traveling or residing abroad. Moreover, it provides an opportunity to plan for the future and ensure your affairs are managed according to your wishes. It can also help to avoid time-consuming and potentially costly court proceedings.

4. How do I create a Power of Attorney?

Creating a Power of Attorney involves several steps. Firstly, you need to choose a trusted agent who will act on your behalf. You then decide on the type of Power of Attorney (financial or medical, or both) you want to create. The document must then be drafted—preferably by a professional attorney—to ensure legal accuracy and clarity. Lastly, the document must be signed and notarized to make it legally binding.

5. What are the benefits of having a Power of Attorney?

Having a Power of Attorney provides several benefits, including peace of mind, as you know your affairs will be managed by someone you trust. It can help you avoid costly and time-consuming court proceedings should you become incapacitated. Moreover, it helps you plan for the future and ensures that your affairs are handled according to your wishes.

Contact Us Today

For a comprehensive plan that will meet your needs or the needs of a loved one, contact us today. Located in Downtown Milwaukee, we serve Milwaukee County, surrounding communities, and to clients across Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and California.

Menu