Georgia residents can use a power of attorney to give a trusted person or entity the authority to make financial decisions on their behalf should become unexpectedly incapacitated. If there is no power of attorney in place, their family will have to involve the courts, which can be costly, time-consuming and burdensome during a time at which they are likely to be emotionally strained.

No matter their age, all adults should complete a power of attorney. This also applies to people who are married, as there are plenty of financial transactions that can only be completed with signatures from both spouses. If there are assets that are in the name of just one spouse and there is no power of attorney in place, the other spouse will not be able to access those assets in order to handle the costs associated with the medical condition of the spouse.

A financial durable power of attorney will be effective when it is signed and will remain so during any incapacitation and up until a person dies if it has not been revoked. The power granted by this legal document will give a person the authority to conduct a number of financial transactions in the stead of an incapacitated individual. The durable designation of the power granted is important, as the power may no longer be effective if the individual becomes incapacitated.

An attorney who provides probate and estate planning services may consider the circumstances and goals of clients and may recommend certain types of estate planning documents to complete to protect their interests should they no longer be able to make decisions for themselves. The attorney might assist with drafting financial durable powers of attorney and may explain to clients exactly what powers can be granted using the legal documents.