Seattle, WA estates & probate lawyer Sage M. Graves explains why it’s important for everyone to have a power of attorney.
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Everybody really needs a power of attorney. I think if you are a young person or an older person and you have the capacity to make decisions, you should have a power of attorney in place. You know I think a lot of clients come in for estate planning, for example, and they really, they need a will and of course, having a will is really important in a lot of circumstances but we also want to make sure that during life, you’re protected. And that you have somebody who can make decisions for you if you’re in a car accident of if you’re in a coma or something happens to you.
So it’s really important that even spouses, for example, have good powers of attorney in place, oftentimes a husband and a wife will come in and they’re surprised to learn that just being a spouse does not give them the authority to manage the other spouses retirement accounts or to sell a house or something like that. So the power of attorney is really important for everybody because it’s a simple document, it’s fairly inexpensive to create, and it really allows you to choose a person that you trust to step in an manage your affairs. Which then, in the future, can avoid the need for a guardianship or some more restrictive alternative to allow somebody to make decision on your behalf.