There are plenty of legal strategies available for protecting the wellbeing of you and your spouse. But many couples overlook the benefits that a power of attorney (POA) can provide when one spouse becomes incapacitated or unavailable to make important decisions.
A power of attorney can protect your financial assets as well as ensure that decisions related to future healthcare are carried out according to your wishes. A power of attorney can give your spouse legal rights they might otherwise not be granted by the courts.
Consulting with a family law attorney is the best way to establish a valid power of attorney that offers the legal protection you and your spouse need.
The Role of Power of Attorney in Family Law
Drafting a legally valid power of attorney lets you appoint another individual to make decisions and have access to personal information, records, and accounts.
You can establish a POA for healthcare and medical decisions as well as one that covers financial interests. The Advance Directive for Healthcare is a standard form used in Georgia to establish healthcare power of attorney.
The term “durable” is often used to describe a power of attorney. This simply means that the terms outlined in the document are still valid should the person establishing the power of attorney become incapacitated.
Power of Attorney in a Marriage
A power of attorney can give your spouse legal authority to make decisions on your behalf. Your spouse can access and sign legal documents and make decisions related to your financial and medical wellbeing when you grant them those rights through a power of attorney.
Many people assume that a spouse automatically has these rights. But this isn’t always the case. You and your spouse may have a joint checking account, but you and your spouse may be limited in the decisions that can be made relative to that account.
With a power of attorney, you and your spouse can establish legal authority to carry out decisions when the other person is unavailable or incapacitated.
A power of attorney can help you and your spouse address issues related to guardianship without having to go through costly and lengthy legal proceedings.
But you need to understand how to draft a valid power of attorney in order to ensure that you have established the appropriate decision-making rights. An attorney can help you determine the best POA options for your needs.
Establishing and Maintaining a Valid Power of Attorney
There are many factors to consider when drafting a power of attorney. The maker of the power of attorney must be competent and understand the document they’re signing.
The basic requirements for drafting a valid power of attorney include signing the document in the presence of one or more witnesses who must also sign the POA.
A notary public must be present to sign the POA, but another individual who can legally administer oaths may also be used.
You can get the most out of your power of attorney when you understand how it can protect you and your spouse’s wellbeing.
Consulting with a family law attorney will help you determine what terms to include in your POA so that you can have the legal protection you need for the future.