In a Power of Attorney document, you provide legal authorization for a person (or persons) to act as your representative to make legal decisions on your behalf in the event that you cannot make or communicate those decisions yourself. There are two types of Power of Attorney documents:
- Power of Attorney for Property – you authorize someone to make financial decisions on your behalf, such as banking, investing and selling property. These documents may be especially beneficial to military personnel and others who are leaving the area for extended periods of time.
- Power of Attorney for Personal Care – you authorize someone to make decisions concerning your health care, nutrition, shelter, clothing, hygiene and safety in the event that you are incapable or legally incompetent to make such decisions at some time in the future.
The person or people who you select to administer your estate and/or manage your affairs will have considerable authority and influence. Such a person must, above all, be someone who you trust completely to carry out their responsibilities to the best of their ability with a genuine concern for your welfare.
Wills and Power of Attorney documents are similar to life insurance policies in that you make them in advance and hope you never need them – because when you do need these documents, your situation may have changed and it may be impossible for you to prepare them at that time.
Plan ahead – prepare a Will and Power of Attorney documents. If you already have a Will and Power of Attorney documents, review them regularly to ensure that they meet your current needs.
Note: Military personnel, CFPSA employees and police officers who are leaving for an extended period overseas or on course may want to consider preparing a Continuing Power of Attorney for Property, authorizing a spouse or someone else to manage their affairs during their absence.