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Reasons you should consider appointing a power of attorney

An executor takes care of your estate when you die, but who takes care of things if you are unable to make decisions for yourself while alive?

Signing a power of attorney gives someone you trust implicitly — like your spouse, sibling or child — signing authority over your financial and legal affairs. The person appointed, known as your attorney, can conduct banking on your behalf, buy and sell property, and even renew your mortgage.

It isn’t fun to think of situations where you might need someone to take control over your financial affairs — but it can help tremendously in a number of situations, from a debilitating accident, to a brain injury, to a diagnosis of dementia.

The most common form used by individuals is an enduring power of attorney, effective upon signing, which can be used whether or not you are incapacitated. Some people prefer to grant a springing power of attorney, which can only be used once you become incapable, although this requires proof of your incapacity, which may delay use of the power of attorney.

Both types of enduring power of attorney will allow your trusted appointee to protect your financial and legal interests when you can’t protect yourself. The alternative to an enduring power of attorney, getting a court-appointed guardian, can be both time consuming and expensive.

Granting someone power of attorney does not have to be a permanent decision. You can choose to revoke or change your power of attorney at any time.

Much like writing a will and appointing an executor, a power of attorney will ensure your interests are represented. Choosing your power of attorney is an important planning decision and requires careful thought and consideration. Talk to Cohen Buchan Edwards today and see how we can help you plan for the unexpected and protect your interests and assets.