QUESTION: Can I get a power of attorney form off the internet?
ANSWER BY RICK COURTNEY:
Can I just get a power of attorney form off the Internet? A lot of folks wonder about that and I tell them "yes, there are powers of attorney forms on the Internet." You can go to big-box office stores and get forms on disk, but that's a bad idea.
A power of attorney is a personalized document. It is designed to let you name the people or the person who would manage your affairs if you become unable to manage them from a disability, an injury, an illness. And the statistics say that we're three times more likely to become incapacitated from a disability than we are to die during any periods you project. The next five years - or the next 15 years - I'm three times more likely to become incapacitated. So it's very important to appoint the right person, the one who would carry out my wishes, pay my bills, talk to my insurance company, do those things that I can't do for myself.
But that document is not just a form. It needs to be personalized because I want those people to carry those things out for me the way I would want that done. How will they know unless I put the rules in there for them?
So in the power of attorney you can designate whether they must give accounting to some other person of these affairs they're managing, whether they have to give information or documents to someone else, whether they have to get approval from some other child to sell property or do something for you while you're incapacitated. It's a very personal document and it can be a longtime arrangement.
If I'm incapacitated for a lengthy period, those rules that I put in that document are going to be very important to explain to those caregivers and that power of attorney agent how to carry out my affairs.