Many people and estate planners have probably heard of a power of attorney, but may wonder exactly what one does and how to get one. A power of attorney document gives another individual the power to make important decisions on behalf of the party executing the power of attorney and conduct their financial affairs, or direct their medical care and treatment.

Estate planning includes planning for the event that the estate planner becomes incapacitated. This can include planning for how their medical and financial affairs will be managed. Estate planning laws can impact what types of decisions are permitted according to the power of attorney legal document the party has.

In addition, there are other types of powers of attorney that estate planners should also be familiar with. Estate planners should know the limits and impacts of both a power or attorney for their financial affairs and a power of attorney for medical treatment, also referred to as an advanced healthcare directive in some circumstances. Powers of attorney can help when the estate planner needs to plan for their financial affairs or medical care if they become incapacitated.

Estate planning in many ways is about planning for the future and ensuring the estate planner’s wishes will be followed and that loved ones and family members will taken care of according to the wishes of the estate planner. Estate planners should be familiar with what a power of attorney can help with and the peace of mind having one can provide.