A power of attorney allows you to give another individual the legal authority to act on your behalf during your lifetime for a purpose you designate, such as paying your bills, managing your personal affairs or handling your finances.
Why You Need a Power of Attorney
We believe a Power of Attorney is one of the most important legal documents an individual can have drafted. We all have financial accounts that only are accessible by us. If these accounts, and the funds contained in these accounts, are only accessible by you, what would happen if you suddenly became incapacitated?
A properly drafted Power of Attorney will allow you to choose a person who can make financial decisions on your behalf during your time of incapacity. This will assure that bills remain paid and general household obligations are completed by someone you trust.
In Kentucky, absent a Power of Attorney your loved ones will need to go to court if you become incapacitated. This cost money and time and is an avoidable hassle.
A Durable Power of Attorney remains in effect even if you become unable to manage your personal and financial affairs. If circumstances change you can always revoke the Power of Attorney and name someone else, as long as you remain mentally competent.
While the law requires that the person you name manage your financial affairs in a responsible and honest manner, it is obviously a big power and can be abused. You should appoint someone you trust. In some rare cases there may not be a friend or family member you trust with this power and you may opt not to execute a Power of Attorney as part of your estate plan. For most, it is a very good idea.