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Create powers of attorney while you are still of sound mind

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Create powers of attorney while you are still of sound mind

On Behalf of | Oct 21, 2020 | Estate Planning

Perhaps you are fast approaching retirement age. You are still healthy and active but thinking about creating your estate plan, starting with healthcare and financial powers of attorneys. 

Your timing is excellent. A POA is only legal if you create it while you are mentally competent. 

About powers of attorney

Anyone can experience a serious illness or devastating injury and become incapacitated as a result. The power of attorney for healthcare gives the agent you choose, usually a family member or trusted friend, the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. The financial POA often accompanies the healthcare POA and allows your agent to manage the financial side of your life in your stead. If you recover from your condition, you simply return to managing your own affairs. 

About mental competency

Your powers of attorney will only take effect if you create them while you are mentally competent. No one wants to think that their cognitive powers will fade with time. But bear in mind that many older people are not diagnosed with some level of dementia until their condition has increased to a significant degree. This is why it is important to be proactive. If you are no longer of sound mind, you would not be legally capable of naming someone to act as your agent. 

About preparing your POA

You can revoke POAs for healthcare and finances at any time, but again, you can only do so if you are mentally competent. Choosing your agent and ensuring that he or she understands the responsibilities ahead if you become incapacitated will give you peace of mind and allow you to fully enjoy the life of a healthy and active retiree.