Before you head out on your summer vacation this year, you might consider taking the time to create one or more powers of attorney. Whenever you leave for vacation you want to be certain that you have done everything you can to allow yourself to have a good time while away, but also make sure that your affairs at home are suitably protected. For this reason, creating powers of attorney could be one of the best things you do before you leave on summer vacation. Here’s why:
Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney is a legal device that gives you the ability to delegate some or all of your legal decision-making authority to another person or organization. When you create powers of attorney you select one or more agents who will act as your representative. Depending on the type of document you create, you can give your agent broad or limited decision-making authority. The agent will be able to make decisions for you, and those decisions will have the same legally binding effect as if you had made them yourself.
Powers and Summer Vacation
If you are going away on vacation, creating a power will allow you to leave someone at home with the legal authority needed to make decisions that need to be made. For example, if you are going away for weeks or months, you’ll probably need someone who will be there to pay your bills for you. If you create a power of attorney, you can select who that person is and specify the duties for which your agent will be responsible. Your agent will then have the ability to, for example, speak to your bank if there is a problem with your bills, serve as your representative if there are any questions about utilities or other issues, and generally look after your affairs while you are away.
Powers and Childcare
Another key issue you might want to consider before heading off on summer vacation is whether you are taking your children with you. If you are leaving on vacation, even a short one, and are planning on leaving your children under the care of someone else, do you know if that person will have the ability to make decisions on your child’s behalf?
For example, you probably take it for granted that you can make medical choices on behalf of your child when needed. But if you leave your child in someone else’s care, will health care workers be able to follow the caregiver’s directions if they have to treat your child? Will they have to delay treatment to try to contact you instead?
Without a proper power of attorney that grants limited childcare responsibilities to the caregiver, you can’t be sure of the answers to these questions. On the other hand, if you take the time to create a power of attorney before you head out on vacation, you can leave knowing that the caregiver will have legal authority necessary to make important decisions in your absence.