Even if you already have a power of attorney for your estate, time and changing laws may render the document powerless. How do you keep this from happening?
Forbes shares tips for making sure your power of attorney remains effective over the years. Use these insights to give your loved ones and yourself peace of mind.
Pay attention to legislative changes
Shifting laws and regulations may require adjustments to your power of attorney if you want to keep the document up-to-date. For instance, what do you know about the Uniform Health Care Decisions Act, the Uniform Power of Attorney Act or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act? Any of the acts may affect your current medical or financial power of attorney. Work with experienced professionals to determine whether to add provisions to your estate planning documents.
Regularly review your power of attorney
When did you first draft your power of attorney? Do you still feel the same way about the document’s contents? Every two or three years, look over your power of attorney and related materials to ensure they reflect your most-current desires. Marriage, divorce, birth, death and long-distance moves are all scenarios that call for a power of attorney review. Also, people whom you choose to speak with your voice if you become incapacitated should remain respectful of your desires. If you have a falling out or change your mind about a health care or financial proxy, update your estate planning documents ASAP. If you die and your power of attorney does not represent your most-recent wishes, the document may not hold up.
Do not tuck your power of attorney away after finishing it. Ensure it always reflects what you want and deserve.