Powers of Attorney - What They Are and Why You Need Them

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Do you have financial and healthcare powers of attorney?

Most people equate estate planning only with dying, but there are other important components of an estate plan that are relevant while you are alive, one of those is powers of attorney (POAs). In New Mexico, there are financial and health care powers of attorney. There are many benefits to having powers of attorney in place, including the following:

  • You can identify who you want to make financial and health care decisions on your behalf if you are not able or available to do so yourself;
  • Financial POAs can eliminate or minimize any interruption in the management of your affairs when you are unable to act;
  • Health Care POAs can give direction about your end of life treatment preferences and navigate HIPAA laws;
  • POAs can prevent the need for court intervention to authorize someone to act on your behalf

Your agent under your Power of Attorney is required to act in your best interest and only when needed.

If you make your POAs effective upon signing, your agent can act on your behalf, if needed, even if you are not incapacitated. For example, if you are travelling extensively and you need your agent to take care of your bills, they would be able to do so under your financial POA. However, POAs convey a lot of authority to your agent, so it is important to appoint someone reliable and trustworthy.