With people living longer statistically — and that trend only expected to continue as medical science makes new discoveries daily — estate considerations regarding later years are becoming more important. While it's certainly critical to consider wills and other after-life estate measures, you might also want to seriously consider documents such as power of attorney forms.
Power of attorney forms let you put some control into the hands of a trusted agent should the need arise for them to take that control. Often when we talk about POA forms, we discuss them in terms of incapacity. This means that you are unable to make decisions for yourself due to a physical or mental infirmity, and in these cases, your POA steps in to make those decisions on your behalf.
With someone making potential health care, legal and financial decisions for you, you obviously want to pick someone you trust implicitly. You'll also need to provide that person with information about your wishes so they can make decisions that match what you might have done if you were able to make them yourself. However, POA forms aren't just for situations that involve total incapacity.
You might come to a time in your life when you are still able to make decisions and reason things out, but you simply want some help. It might be that daily financial management is too taxing for you, or you might be able to consider the implications and make decisions but be physically unable to write or sign checks. In such cases, you would need a POA agent that is both trustworthy and able to work closely with you on a regular basis. If you don't know how to go about choosing a POA, consider speaking to your estate lawyer for tips during the process.
Source: Forbes, "The Most Important Estate Planning Issue Boomers Need To Address," Kelley Long, accessed Sep. 09, 2016