As you age, you become more vulnerable to illness and complications. In some cases, these illnesses may incapacitate you physically or mentally. If you cannot make financial or medical decisions, then you have to depend on someone else.
According to U.S. News, a power of attorney provides a person of your choosing with the power to make decisions related to your finances or medical treatment. There are two types of power of attorney to consider: financial power of attorney and medical power of attorney.
A financial power of attorney
A financial power of attorney designates a person to handle your finances. For most people, a financial agent is the best choice. This person can handle your Social Security checks or he or she can make investments on your behalf. If you have more complex financial matters, you should give the authority to someone professional who can make the best choices for you. In addition to experience, you need to be able to trust the person with your money.
A medical power of attorney
The medical power of attorney offers power to a healthcare agent of your choice. This agent will work with your caretakers, doctors and other healthcare providers to ensure that you receive the treatment that you desire. If you cannot speak for yourself, the person you designate can speak on your behalf. For instance, if there are medical treatments that you oppose or if you have a preference for end-of-life care, the agent can ensure that you receive the treatment you would want.
A power of attorney addresses a range of financial and medical issues that a living will cannot.