What would happen if you became incapacitated today? How would you be taken care of? Who would pay your bills? Who would make decisions for you?
If you do not know the answers to these questions, then you need a power of attorney. A power of attorney is the legal authorization for another to act on your behalf. While it is true that another may be able to do so without a power of attorney in certain cases, the power of attorney ratifies such person’s decisions and keeps another from challenging the decision. This gives the decision maker peace of mind.
A power of attorney also lets your decision maker know what they can and cannot do. You can limit a power of attorney to authorize only certain actions. You can also have a general power of attorney that grants the decision maker a wide latitude in his/her decision making.
The alternative to a power of attorney is expensive and can be time consuming. This alternative is called getting a guardianship and requires filing paperwork with the court and attending a hearing. Another can also challenge the appointment of the guardianship.
For these reasons, get a power of attorney. Do not rely on an on-line form as they are generic and one size does not fit all. A power of attorney is not expensive and can save you time and money in the long run.