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When should you update your power of attorney?

by | Jun 4, 2023 | Estate Planning

Estate planning does more than designate assets to beneficiaries. The documents you include in your plan will protect all your wishes should you become incapacitated or die. And one of them is a power of attorney (POA), which authorizes someone to act on your behalf, making decisions on your property, business, financial or medical care. 

With such authorization, the chosen agent can enter into financial transactions, sell/buy a property and make other legal decisions as if they were you.

However, it helps to update this document. Here are two situations when you should do so.

Circumstances change

If you experience a change in your life that affects your power of attorney, you will need to update it. For example, when you go through a divorce and your spouse is your agent. If you get married/remarried and want your spouse to be your agent, you will also update the document. 

Your child getting older, proving they can be a reliable agent may also call for an update. Further, if state laws, affecting power of attorney, change, you will need to make the necessary updates.

Issues with your agent

If your agent has issues that may affect their ability to assume their duties, you may need to change them. For example, if they go to jail or are under investigation for a crime. An agent moving far from you may also be inconvenient, as anything may happen to you at any time.

If your agent becomes incapacitated or dies, you will also need to find a new one. In addition, if you have misunderstandings with your agent or no longer trust they can act in your best interest, you should also make changes.

You should update your power of attorney when necessary. It will help to get legal guidance to make informed decisions.