A good power of attorney is essential to most estate plans. In fact, good estate plans usually include at least two, and possibly more depending on your situation. Unfortunately, a lot of people who know what powers of attorney are and why they’re important may choose to use do-it-yourself guides to create their own documents. This may be less expensive in the short term, but the potential problems that can arise from do-it-yourself powers of attorney are significant. Here are a couple of problems you need to think about before choosing to make your own powers.
When you create a power of attorney you give another person, called your agent or attorney-in-fact, the ability to make legal decisions on your behalf. Sometimes, especially when parents decide to create powers of attorney, you might feel tempted to give that power to multiple people. This is often a recipe for disaster. If you are not clear about who should be your agent, it will often fall to a court to interpret the document and determine what you intended.
Waiting Too Long
Only you can create a power of attorney. If you are suddenly injured or fall ill you may want to create a power of attorney but your ability to do so is limited. If someone wants to challenge your ability to create a power of attorney it’s best that you create the document when you are healthy and of sound mind. If you’re in a situation where your abilities can be questioned, this can lead to serious problems.
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