With the internet came thousands – if not millions – of options for people that would allow them to change their lives in ways that seemed too good to be true at the time. The personal computer was the best thing since peanut butter and many of us can even recall the first website we visited. Ah, the good old days. Then, something strange happened. Suddenly, there were countless services and do-it-yourself solutions that began popping up, all designed to help us save money, time and take control of our lives. No more hours spent building spreadsheets when you could download templates, right? Unfortunately, with the awe-inspiring conveniences, we soon saw the less than rosy side of technology.
Soon, people were filling out generic legal forms, believing they were safe from a legal stance. And here we are, decades later, and those same mistakes are being played out in courtrooms across the country and every day. The smallest of mistakes mean big efforts and considerable time to back out of. Such is the case with the power of attorney.
The Power of the Power of Attorney
It’s true that a power of attorney can be as specific as you’d like. You have the option of limiting the powers that come with these legal documents or you can choose to be as specific as you’d like. You just can’t make a mistake; otherwise, you’ve defeated your purpose and sometimes, even worse.
Life can sometimes seem like a series of updates. We update our wills, blogs, friends, investments, homes and vehicles. But even when we’re in the process of reviewing and editing our legal documents, the one that’s most often overlooked is the power of attorney. Earlier this year, we saw firsthand the risks of neglecting even a cursory review. When Robin Williams died, one of his powers of attorney included someone he trusted for years. Sadly, this trusted friend preceded Williams in death. Naturally, it’s caused quite a few problems for his loved ones. Remember, too, that the one you named ten years ago may not be the best solution today for any number of reasons. Consider the people you choose and then consider what that responsibility will mean for each of them. When you work with a qualified estate planning attorney, you have the benefit of his guidance. He can not only help you maneuver the legalities, but he will also catch the smallest details that could compromise the strength of your overall estate plan.
And speaking of legal guidance, it’s understandable why we’re tempted to download templates. This route is usually free from a financial perspective. It’s also free of the advantages of a legal advocate. Besides, you might be surprised to see just how affordable estate planning can be. The peace of mind that comes with knowing the details are covered is empowering. To learn more about medical powers of attorney or a financial power of attorney, contact our offices today.