Power of Attorney 101

One of the most important documents you can have an attorney draw up for you is a Power of Attorney (sometimes referred to as a “POA”).

What Is a Power of Attorney?

If you become incapacitated and cannot act for yourself, a Power of Attorney is a document that allows you (the grantor) to choose someone (an agent) that can act on your behalf. The document allows that person to manage your banking transactions, as well as manage assets if you’re placed in assisted living or a nursing home.

The Power of Attorney must be developed while the grantor of power is legally capable of consenting to it. If one waits too long, and becomes incapacitated before the document is created, it is too late.

Another feature of a Power of Attorney can be granting the agent the ability to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. This allows the person you designate to make the very important decisions about your healthcare if you become incapacitated.

When Does the Power of Attorney Go Into Effect?

When you create a Durable Power of Attorney in Kentucky, it does not go into effect until you become incapacitated, unless you have specific provisions for it to occur sooner.

Do I Want a Durable Power of Attorney?

Great question!

If you would like to have your assets managed properly were you to become incapacitated, then a Durable Power of Attorney is a must.

As the grantor, you need to make sure that the agent is capable of making those decisions and that they will handle your affairs in the same manner as you would.

The beauty of a Durable Power of Attorney is that you can choose who you want to manage your assets before it becomes necessary. This can prevent a multitude of issues that could come up were you to become incapacitated without a Power of Attorney; it can allow the management of assets to continue unimpeded, without bringing in the court to choose an agent for you.

The best course of action is to consult with a knowledgeable attorney to help you create and execute a Durable Power of Attorney. Remember, waiting too long may, and missing the opportunity to create a Power of Attorney while you’re able to consent, could create undue burden for your loved ones and friends.