Powers of Attorney


How Powers of Attorney Can Protect You and Your Loved Ones

A power of attorney (POA) is very simply a legal document that gives someone else the power to act on your behalf. There are several kinds of powers of attorney for specific needs. A POA can be limited in time or in scope. An example is a POA that gives someone else the authority to sign documents for you in a real estate transaction if you cannot be present. The designated person can only act for you for that specific transaction, within a specific time frame.

A POA can also be designated for certain conditions and a longer time. If you are incapacitated due to illness or accident, this would allow a trusted person to make decisions for you while you cannot. These longer term POAs are often limited to specific matters, most commonly health care or financial decisions. If you are seriously injured or ill, a health care POA would allow a trusted person that you designate ahead of time to make decisions about the type and level of care you receive. A financial POA would give someone the authority to make financial decisions should you be unable to do so. This ensures that your bills are paid, investments reviewed, and other important matters dealt with if you are ill or injured an unable to do this for yourself. Most often this is a spouse, adult child, or sibling.

Who needs a POA? The short answer is everyone. POAs are an important aspect of estate planning and elder law allowing you to decide who you trust to make decisions for you if you are not able to do this yourself. Many people believe that spouses can automatically make decisions and access financial accounts. This is not the case in South Carolina where people often find themselves pursuing lengthy legal proceedings emergently at the most stressful time of their lives. It is important that you have a POA in place ahead of time naming your spouse or other trusted person as the person who can make decisions for you. 

The kindest thing you can do for your loved ones is to have essential POAs in place before anything happens. Once you are seriously ill or injured this process becomes more difficult at a time when your loved ones are already overwhelmed. Planning for the worst relieves you and your loved ones of stress and anxiety and can help preserve your assets and your legacy.

Call us today at 803-358-7214 or complete the contact form to learn more about Powers of Attorney and the ways that they can bring peace of mind to you and your family.