The simple answer to that question is that every Nashville resident does need these documents. Powers of attorney serve an important purpose as part of an estate plan. They protect individuals who become incapacitated through injury or illness. Perhaps more importantly, they help prevent family members from having to go to court to obtain the authority to act on behalf of a loved one who cannot make decisions for him or herself.
Without powers of attorney, family members would need to petition the court for the right to make financial and health care decisions for an incapacitated loved one. Even if these proceedings could be expedited by a Nashville court, a lot can happen in the time it takes to receive guardianship and/or conservatorship powers. Instead, an individual could prepare for such an eventuality by executing powers of attorney to cover financial and health care decisions.
Some people may hesitate to execute these documents because they do not want someone having this kind of power over their affairs. Fortunately, the powers given can be limited. In addition, a person can make it so that the power of attorney is not “activated” without the certification by at least one doctor that the person granting the power is incapacitated. This may take some time, but if it would help give someone peace of mind, it may be worth it.
As is the case with any other legal document, it would be a good idea to consult with an experienced attorney before executing powers of attorney. There are legal ramifications to all parties involved, and everyone needs to understand their rights and responsibilities relating to these documents. Once everyone is satisfied with the final product, they can enjoy peace of mind that a plan is in place should it be needed.