Preparing for life’s unexpected events can be challenging and many of us do not want to acknowledge our vulnerability. Unfortunately it is not always someone else. A Durable Power of Attorney (POA) for finances enables an individual to appoint an “agent” to act in legal matters on their behalf regarding specific legal and financial responsibilities. It can be written so that the responsibilities transfer immediately or it becomes effective when an individual become incapacitated (Springing POA). It can be a Limited POA for specific tasks as well. That’s all well and good, but why you ask, am I sharing this basic information with you? Planning! I’m all about it and here’s the reason. A durable power of attorney for finances is essential if your elderly parent (or an unmarried brother in Vermont) becomes incapacitated or incompetent. Without preparing such a legal document, family and friends will not be allowed to make important financial decisions. Anyone wishing to undertake such tasks would have to go to court and be officially appointed the person’s guardian. While not required to be prepared by an attorney, I highly recommend that you do speak to your attorney or an estate planner to make sure you and your family have basic legal instruments in place for the state in which you reside.