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What is a Power of Attorney, and Do I Need One?

Attorney Robert Franco

Robert Franco

Robert Franco has been practicing law for over a decade. He specializes in wills and trusts, as well as probate and estate administration. Robert grew up in the Pacific Northwest and now lives in Woodinville with his wife and three kids.

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What is a Power of Attorney, and Do I Need One?

If you’re like most people, you probably have no idea what a power of attorney is. Does having a power of attorney mean you suddenly start using words like “hereby” and “moreover”? Does it mean you can summon the spirit of attorneys past and start suing everyone you know just for funsies?

It may not be that special, but it can still be important if you need it. A power of attorney is a document that gives someone the legal authority to act and make decisions for you while you are alive but unable to act for yourself. This can be critical if you are incapacitated in some way, from something dramatic like falling into a coma after an accident or something more common and subtle like the effects of dementia.

If you don’t have a power of attorney in place, your loved ones may need to petition a court for adult guardianship just to pay your bills. Not having a power of attorney when it’s needed can be unnecessarily costly, both emotionally and financially for your loved ones.

You May Also Like: Choosing a Guardian – Part 1

The two most common areas where powers of attorney are often needed:

  1. Medical Decisions
  2. Financial Decisions

Financial Power of Attorney

A Financial Power of Attorney gives another person the power to make financial decisions for you if you can’t. This could mean doing simple things like paying bills and withdrawing money or more involved tasks like selling real estate and managing a business. When you create a power of attorney, you choose what decisions your financial agent is authorized to make.

Health Care Power of Attorney

A Health Care Power of Attorney gives another person the power to make health care decisions for you if you can’t. In the power of attorney, you appoint a health care agent and outline the types of decisions the agent is authorized to make. If you don’t have a living will, your healthcare agent can make end-of-life decisions for you.

If you do have a living will, you won’t need an agent to make end-of-life decisions, but you may want a friend or family member who you trust to authorize other important medical treatments.

You May Also Like: Choosing a Guardian – Part 2

Knowledgeable | Practical | Compassionate

At Eastside Estate Planning we focus exclusively on estate law and offer reasonable flat fees, depending on your individual needs. With 10 years of legal experience and an advanced tax degree, Robert is an expert at explaining complex estate planning concepts simply and advising his clients to make the best decision. Interested in learning more about our services?

Visit our website for more information, or schedule a free consultation with Robert to receive a personalized quote.

Service Areas:

Eastside Estate Planning is dedicated to providing estate planning, last will, and trusts services to individuals and families in the following areas:

Bellevue | Redmond | Monroe | Duvall

If you reside in any of these locations and are in need of professional estate planning assistance, we are here to help. Robert is committed to delivering personalized and top-quality estate planning solutions to clients within these cities. Contact us today to discuss your estate planning needs and secure the future of your assets and loved ones.

You May Also Like: Is a Will Enough or Do I Need a Revocable Living Trust?

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