A last will and testament cannot solve all of your problems.
You have a will.
You believe your affairs are now covered if something should happen to you.
You are at peace.
According to a recent Wicked Local article “Investors, Plans & Money: Power of attorney,” you may be dead wrong.
A will does not have power unless you die.
You would need a power of attorney.
A power if attorney is a legal document granting an agent of your own choosing authority to act on your behalf and in your interests should you become incapacitated.
There are a few different types of which you should be aware.
Each "type" serves a different purpose and may have specific requirements depending on your state.
What are they?
A General Durable Power of Attorney.
This is provides authority to make decisions and act on your behalf, even when you are incapacitated.
That is what the "durable" part means.
You can include a list of wishes or actions you would like the agent to take.
It is the broadest in scope of all powers or attorney.
Because of this fact, your agent must be completely trustworthy.
A Limited, Specific, or Special Power of Attorney.
Here you provide authority to an agent with limitations.
You can limit the agent to certain tasks or time frames.
In what situation might you use this?
You could use this if you were wanting someone to manage, sell, or maintain property on your behalf.
For example, you will be out of the country and just listed your automobile for sale online.
A Springing Power of Attorney.
This power of attorney only takes effect when specific conditions are met.
An example of one such condition would be mental incapacity.
Before the agent can act, proof must be given that the specific condition has been met.
A Healthcare Power of Attorney.
Different states have different names for this power of attorney.
This power of attorney gives an agent the ability to make healthcare decisions on your behalf.
Talk with your agent so he or she understands your wishes for both critical care and life-sustaining measures.
Do not try to create a power of attorney by yourself.
Work with an experienced estate planning attorney.
He or she can help you select an agent, set up the proper documents properly, and meet the requirements of your state.
Do not delay.
You cannot predict when you would need one these.
Reference: Wicked Local (April 24, 2019) “Investors, Plans & Money: Power of attorney”