No one knows what the future holds, and this uncertainty spurs many people to take as many precautions as they can. One way to prepare is to devise an estate plan that will take care of loved ones if the unthinkable should happen. While it is a good idea to take measures to protect and provide for your family if you pass away, you may also want to consider taking steps to protect and provide for yourself.
If you suffer from a serious injury or illness, you may not be able to make decisions for yourself, even temporarily. If that happens, who would you want making critical choices regarding your health and finances during this time? You have the power to choose who will do that and under what circumstances now, while you are healthy, but it will be too late to do so once you are incapacitated.
A power of attorney keeps you in control
Executing a power of attorney now allows you to retain some control over what happens to you if you become incapacitated. You can choose who you want making decisions for you. Otherwise, your family members will need to go before a North Carolina court in order to obtain the power to care for you when you cannot care for yourself. The delay could have devastating effects on your health and finances.
In addition, you may not have chosen the person who ends up making decisions for you. What happens if that person does not share the same thoughts on your care as you do? You could end up at the mercy of a family member who doesn’t share your views and does not know your wishes. With a power of attorney, you can make sure that the person you choose understands your wishes and will respect them if he or she becomes responsible for your care.
You can choose how much control to give someone else
One of the things that scares many people away from powers of attorney is the potential for misuse by the person chosen. You don’t want to give an individual control over everything, just what you would need during a period of incapacitation. Fortunately, you can tailor your powers of attorney to your wishes. You can sign a general power of attorney, which does provide the person you choose access and power over all of your affairs. In the alternative, you can grant only specific powers, but make sure those powers are enough to make sure you receive the care you need.
Get some help in making these decisions
Deciding who will care for you and your finances if you become incapacitated is not an easy task. You may also have questions and concerns regarding how much power to give someone over your life. In order to get the answers you need and help you require in making these crucial decisions, it would be wise to consult with an experienced estate-planning attorney who can help you make the best decisions possible for your unique circumstances.