Power of Attorney

A power of attorney (POA) is an essential estate planning document. But you (and especially your agents) need to know its limits and how to maximize its benefits. In a POA, the principal (you) names one or more agents (often an adult child) to act on your behalf.  You need a POA, because someone needs to manage your assets, pay bills, and make decisions if you become incapacitated. The alternative is for your loved ones to ask a court to declare you incompetent and appoint someone to act on your behalf, known as guardianship in most states. Ideally, the agent named in your POA smoothly takes over and seamlessly manages your affairs when you aren’t able and continues doing so as long as needed.