What Is Power of Attorney?

Family on a bed smiling.

One of the most common questions we get at Middleton Law Offices is “What is a power of attorney?” It's an understandable question. The media likes to talk about it a lot, but very rarely goes into any kind of detail. Most people think it has something to do with being an attorney, but that is a very common mistake.

A Power of Attorney is a document that states who is able to make medical or financial decisions for you when you can’t. This happens more often than you'd think! Whether you are going under for surgery or are hurt in an accident. These documents allow a trusted loved one, family member, or friend to make certain decisions for you. Specifically, decisions about medical and financial care. Different people can be listed to do different jobs within the documents. You can also list backups, just in case.

This is one of the most important documents you could (and should) have. There can be lots of problems if there is an emergency where you cannot make decisions for yourself, and you don't have this done. You are likely putting yourself in a very dangerous situation where your medical wishes may not be heard. You could also force your family through a tough battle through court to obtain guardianship.

And don’t confuse it for a Living Will. That lets you tell your loved ones exactly what kind of care you would like to receive, rather than who can make decisions.

The good news is that as necessary as these documents are, they are also fairly simple to obtain and form a part of the foundation for any estate planning. If you don’t know if yours are done (or you don’t know where they are) reach out today so we can help. Middleton Law Offices has been protecting families for generations!

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